Already old, by 904 it had become one of the manors of the bishops of Winchester. After the Conquest, Bishop Henri de Blois built his palace and developed the town on a grid pattern that is still apparent. In 1644 Parliamentary forces captured and plundered the palace. The character of Bishop's Waltham changed. Without the bishops the people had to rely on themselves. The 18th century brought the excitement of the Waltham Blacks, a notorious gang of deer stealers, the early 19th century brought famous French and Spanish prisoners on parole. A very thoroughly researched account by an award-winning local historian.