Image of what was the Royal Residence of King Henry I, around 1120-1130.
Image taken at the Old Sarum site about two miles out of Salisbury in Wiltshire UK, while on a bubble shoot with Mattie. The Old Sarum is now run by English Heritage.
The Great Hall was the most public part of the Royal Palace.
After climbing the stairs from the lower courtyard visitors would have found themselves in a large waiting room. From here they would be shown into the hall. At the far end there would have been a raised platform where the King or his officials sat. Everyone else had to stand.
On great occassions the King would have entertained his Barons in the Hall. Then a fire would have been lit in the middle of the room, and tables and benches would have been set up at each side. After the meal the King would go out of the Hall, along the cloister alley and into his chamber: here special guests would have been entertained.
At the far side of a garden opposite the Great Hall, lay the King’s private suite. This must have been quite elaborate. There was probably a separate day room and bedrooms, as well as access to the Royal Chapel of St. Nicholas. At the far end of the range, a tall keep-like tower contained the toilets.