Sadly, it is all that remains of the castle that was founded within a one year of the conquest of England.
The town itself was an important royal and administrative centre and was the seat of government before London took its place. The Treasury and the Exchequer were both based here, Empress Matilda’s army was besieged by King Stephen in 1141, Henry III was born here in 1207 and Edward I and his wife, Margaret of France were nearly killed by fire in 1302.
The artwork we see today was commissioned by Henry VIII to celebrate the visit, in 1522, by Charles V the Holy Roman Emperor and depicts Henry sitting in Arthur's seat above a Tudor Rose.
Removed from is position high on the wall of the Great Hall in the mid 1970's, the table was carbon dated, what they found was not a sixth century piece of workmanship, but thirteenth or fourteenth century. It is now considered to have been created during the reign of Edward I for his Round Table Tournament in 1290. A study of the kings finances for that period show a tournament was held by Edward near Winchester on April 20 of that year, the table may have been made to mark the betrothal of one of his daughters.