A strikingly beautiful city,
antique Winchester was Britain's country’s ancient
capital in the 9th century when Alfred the Great
made it his base as he strove to unite local
peoples against the marauding Vikings.
A huge bronze statue of Alfred welcomes visitors.
Previously Winchester had been the capital of the
Celtic Belgae tribe as well as the Roman centre
known as Venta Belgarum.
Two of its five Roman town gates and parts of the surrounding wall have survived the ravages of time.
The River Itchen provides a delightful distraction
as it runs through the city but the stunning
cathedral is the real focal point, having the
longest medieval nave in Europe at over 550 feet.
Begun in the 11th century it contains the remains of numerous kings including Canute and William II.
Here also is the shrine of St Swithin, a former bishop, and the tomb of the novelist Jane Austen.
The city, which boasts one of Britain’s oldest
public schools, has many other sites worth
They range from Winchester’s 13th century Wolvesley Great Hall, containing King Arthur’s so-called round table, to Godbegot House, which lies on the site of King Canute's palace, St. Swithin’s medieval church and the splendid ruins of Old Wolvesley Palace.
|The city is replete with museums tracing local culture and history as well as regimental museums for the Light Infantry, Royal Green Jackets, Royal Hampshire Regiment, the Royal Hussars and the Gurkhas.|