Basing House
Basing House, Hampshire, was a major English Tudor palace and castle that once rivalled Hampton Court Palace in its size and opulence. Today only its foundations and earthworks remain. The ruins are a Grade II listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

History
Basing House was built from 1531 as a new palace for William Paulet, 1st Marquess of Winchester, treasurer to King Edward VI, Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I. In its final form, Basing House was made up of two linked houses. The Old House replaced the keep of an older motte-and-bailey castle, so was located within a defensive ring of earthworks and walls, whilst the slightly later New House was located outside the defences. A bridge and gateway linked the two across and through the defences; a link that was to prove fatal in the final battle for Basing House. Taken together, the house had 360 rooms, was five storeys high and was considered by many to be the greatest private house in the country. At the time of the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642, Basing House belonged to John Paulet, the fifth Marquis of Winchester, who was a supporter of King Charles I. As a consequence, parliamentary forces invested Basing House on three different occasions, with the Royalists successfully breaking the first two sieges. The final siege started in August 1645 when Colonel John Dalbier, with 800 troops, took up position around the walls. The garrison held out, despite further reinforcements to the attacking force, until Oliver Cromwell arrived with a heavy siege-train. By October 13, 1645, the New House had been taken and the defences of the Old House breached. The final storming took place across the link from the New House. Many valuable goods were carried off and a fire destroyed the building. John Paulet had his estates confiscated and was sent to the Tower of London on a charge of high treason, although these charges were later dropped, and the site of Basing House returned to him by King Charles II. His son Charles Paulet became wealthy again as a consequence of his support for William of Orange during the Glorious Revolution. This wealth was used to hack down what was left of Basing House and to build a new house at Hackwood. The area on which the house stands has an unclear history from before the construction of the house

Location
Basing House is located in the village of Old Basing, approximately one mile east of the centre of the town of Basingstoke, in the north of the English county of Hampshire. The house is situated close to the upper reaches of the River Loddon. Because of congestion in Old Basing, the car park for the house is situated several hundred yards away and is accessed by an attractive riverside walk. The route of the former Basingstoke Canal also ran around Basing House and then through and around parts of Old Basing.

Access
The extensive ruins of Basing House, are open to the public. Entry to the House has been significantly altered, with a ticket office, coffee shop and exhibition in an Annex of the Great Barn, with visitors streamed into the site from the car park, via a short walk along the River Loddon. A UK Heritage Lottery Funded scheme has allowed significant upgrades for the visitor "experience" (including upgrades to paths and bridges for disabled access), and further renovations are scheduled for 2011/12. A separate planned schedule for school trips is also available. Check the website for more details. (2011) The ruins are open from 1st March to 31st October Saturdays to Thursdays from 10:00AM to 5:00PM. For more details see the Basing House web page in "External links" below.