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WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL

11th Century Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity. Transepts, crypts and part of nave 1079-1093, by Bishop Walkelyn. Tower fell 1107 and rebuilt later. Retro-choir and Lady Chapel early 13th Century. Nave remodelled by Bishop Edington 1345-66, and William of Wykeham 1366-1404, with his master mason William of Wynforde; a Perpendicular recasing of the Norman nave. Cathedral built of Isle of Wight stone. Contains important furnishings of all periods, particularly the Bishops' chantry chapels.  - Photo courtesy Hampshire Chronicle Group
Views of the Cathedral Close

  Cathedral Close

Link to the Winchester Cathedral web site

  Cathedral web site

Views of the Visitors Centre

  Visitors Centre

Visitors comments about the Cathedral

  Visitors comments

Information about the Bishops of Winchester

  Bishops of Winchester

Link to the Diocese of Winchester web site

  Diocese of Winchester

Information abbout the See of Winchester

  See of Winchester

There has been a Cathedral in Winchester since about 648 AD. The foundations of the  current Cathedral were laid out in 1079 by Walkelin, the first Norman Bishop. To this new building (consecrated in 1093) the relics of St. Swithin were solemnly transferred, 15 July, and the `Old Minster´ was torn down. The Norman cathedral measured 535 ft (164m) in length, the longest then in existence. This is 13m longer than the present structure, the Norman towers at the West front were removed about 1350.

The Slype The West Front Cathedral Nave

Before that, there were problems. Proposed towers on the transept ends were abandoned due to poor ground conditions, and in 1107 the central tower collapsed. Between 1905-12 William Walker, the diver, worked with 150 others to underpin most of the cathedral walls.
Within its walls took place the burial of William Rufus (1100), the coronation of Richard I (1194), the marriage of Henry IV (1401), and the marriage of Queen Mary (1554).

South side, viewed from the Close South side, viewed from the Close

In its 900+ year history the Cathedral has been much remodeled and extended. In 1202 the Retrochoir was begun. Between 1350 - 1410 the West front was rebuilt and the Nave remodeled in the Perpendicular style. This was accomplished by cutting the Norman stonework in-situ and recasting the piers. The elevations were altered from the original 3 storey work into 2 storey by cutting out the heads of the Norman arched arcade and resetting them at a higher level. The whole Nave was also re-vaulted at this time. In 1500 the East bay of the Lady chapel was rebuilt.

Views of the Cathedral Close

  Cathedral Close

Link to the Winchester Cathedral web site

  Cathedral web site

Views of the Visitors Centre

  Visitors Centre

Visitors comments about the Cathedral

  Visitors comments

Information about the Bishops of Winchester

  Bishops of Winchester

Link to the Diocese of Winchester web site

  Diocese of Winchester

Information abbout the See of Winchester

  See of Winchester

North side North side

In truth it is impossible to adequately detail even a small portion of the Cathedral’s history, the many changes it has undergone, and the wealth of beautiful treasures it contains. Many of the ancient Kings of England are buried here, alongside Saints, Bishops, and many notable `commoners´, such as Jayne Austen and Izaac Walton. The 12th century `Winchester Bible´, font and wall paintings have survived, along with many other later works of art.
Before leaving the Cathedral any visitor should spare the time to tour the Cathedral Close . For those of you who cannot get over here to see it first hand, follow the link above for a quick photographic tour.

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