Winchester Cathedral is a Church of England cathedral in Winchester, Hampshire, England. It is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, with the longest nave and greatest overall length of any Gothic cathedral in Europe. Dedicated to the Holy Trinity, Saint Peter, Saint Paul, and before the Reformation, Saint Swithun it is the seat of the Bishop of Winchester and centre of the Diocese of Winchester. The cathedral is a Grade I listed building.
The cathedral was founded in 642 on a site immediately to the north of the present one. This building became known as the Old Minster. It became part of a monastic settlement in 971. Saint Swithun was buried near the Old Minster and then in it, before being moved to the new Norman cathedral. So-called mortuary chests said to contain the remains of Saxon kings such as King Eadwig of England, first buried in the Old Minster, and his wife Ælfgifu, are in the present cathedral. The Old Minster was demolished in 1093, immediately after the consecration of its successor.
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We drove from Portsmouth to Winchester on Sunday 22nd May 2016 on a reasonably sunny day. The drive was a lot quicker than anticipated as the roads were clear. I wanted to park really close to the Cathedral for the normal photographs, but sadly it didn’t look permissible, and I really do not like to get into trouble with the authorities.
The facilities around the Cathedral were better than most of the English Heritage sites we have visit, the shop was easily accessible with the Cafe close to that. The Coffee and tea were nice but the cakes on offer looked great and the two we choose were something my wife said she would go back for.
On arrival the weather started to take a turn for the worst on arrival so as soon as I had taken a video and some pictures from outside we went inside, and the inside was wonderful, such workmanship and detail. Entry on a Sunday is free but you are asked to make a contribution instead. If you choose to go between Monday and Saturday their is a charge, that payment is valid for 12 months so you can return for free during that period I believe.
Some of the crypts were as beautiful as the building, a pity so many historical artefacts etc have been lost from the Cathedral through time. Some Guidons of the Royal Hampshire Regiment were dangling proudly from the walls, I think I counted five in all? I did ask which battalions they come from and their History, but with all the volunteers knowledge those questions they could not answer.
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This is truly a wonderful building and deserves more than one visit. The images I have taken are just of that which I saw during our 3 hour visit, no doubt I missed so much more.
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Additional pictures taken on 28 March 2017