Winchester Tourist Guide

Winchester is an historic city in southern England, with a population of around 40,000 within a 3 mile radius of its centre. It is the seat of the City of Winchester local government district, which covers a much larger area, and is also the administrative capital and county town of Hampshire. Winchester was formerly the capital of England, during the 10th and early 11th centuries, and before that the capital of Wessex. The city is at the western end of the South Downs with the scenic River Itchen running through it. The city is served by trains running from London Waterloo, Weymouth, Brighton, Portsmouth, Southampton and the North.

Winchester Tourist Guide – Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral, the second longest building in Europe, was originally built in 1079. It contains much fine architecture spanning the 11th to the 16th century and is the burial place of numerous Bishops of Winchester (such as William of Wykeham) and Anglo-Saxon and later monarchs (such as King Canute), as well as Jane Austen. It was once an important pilgrimage centre and housed the shrine of Saint Swithun. The ancient Pilgrims’ Way travelling to Canterbury begins at Winchester. The plan of the earlier Old Minster is laid out in the grass adjoining the cathedral. The New Minster once stood beside it.

Winchester Tourist Guide – Cathedral Close

The Cathedral Close contains a number of historic buildings from the time when the cathedral was also a priory. Of particular note are the Deanery which dates back to the 13th century. It was originally the Prior’s House, and was the birthplace of Arthur, Prince of Wales in 1486. Not far away is Cheyney Court, a mid-15th century timber-framed house incorporating the Porter’s Lodge for the Priory Gate. It was the Bishop’s court house.

Winchester Tourist Guide


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