It is home to the ruins of Bishop's Waltham Palace, a Scheduled Ancient Monument under English Heritage management, and a well-preserved high street with many listed buildings which now house independent shops.
Bishop's Waltham's long history includes a roll call of Medieval and Tudor kings and queens who visited the town to stay at the palace.
By the time of the Domesday book (1086 AD), it had a population of around 600 living in 115 households - at the time, the 11th largest settlement in Hampshire.
There are many Georgian buildings in the town alongside the Norman parish church.
The town retains a unique character, with a number of small local businesses (such as a butchers, bakery and fishmonger) including an off-licence which was established in 1617 (Bakers Wine Merchants).
In 904, King Edward the Elder (King Alfred's son) exchanged it with Denewulf, Bishop of Winchester, for the Bishop's estate at Portchester.
In 1136 Henry de Blois, a later bishop, built a new church and in 1158 started the now-ruined Bishop's Waltham Palace.
The name of the town is Saxon, being derived from the two words: "wald" (forest) and "ham" (settlement).