I can’t begin to appropriately describe Winchester. It is perhaps the most beautiful city I have ever been in, at least the downtown part.

The first place I went was the remains of the Norman Castle. Not much still exists, a few passageways, the remains of a tower, and then the Great Hall which has been kept up. The Great Hall is incredibly beautiful, with stained glass heraldic devices of all of the kings of England (including attributed ones to those who did not technically heraldic arms such as Cnut and Alfred), and many of the leading noblemen and bishops in English history.

The hall itself is glorious, with its buttresses and incredible stonework. On one end there’s a family tree of English royalty starting at the end of the 13th century. On the other end is the great Round Table listing Arthur’s knights and where they sat. It’s amazing, no doubt about it, but….

It is overshadowed by Winchester Cathedral. I’ve been fortunate to have seen some beautiful architecture and embellishments, such as St. Basil’s in Moscow, but I’ve never seen anything like this. The architecture is stupendous in a way I cannot describe.

The cathedral is also a historian’s wet dream. Hundreds of people are buried there, including Jane Austen. You walk over these intricately carved stones with people’s names and occasionally something about them. This isn’t particularly uncommon, but adds to the historicalness (if that’s a word) of the place. St. Swithun is buried there, somewhere. Many great noblemen and bishops of England are also buried there.

On a shelf there are six funerary boxes. This include the remains of such names as King Edmund, King Ecgfrid, King Cnut and Queen Emma, and others. Now the boxes say who’s in them, but nobody’s really sure at this point who really resides in these. During the Civil War, Cromwell’s troops apparently brought these boxes down and poked around in them. All that they know is that there are definitely bones in all of them, but who knows if they were mixed and matched.

Nevertheless it is awe-inspiring to see the caskets that such names, names I’ve studied, once resided in.

But there’s more. The Winchester City Museum has a lovely collection of Anglo-Saxon artifacts. Oh, yeah, there’s this big Victorian era statue of Alfred, and then there’s the river. It’s a beautiful river running right next to the remnants of the medieval and Roman walls.

Whatever you do, plan on going to Winchester when you come to England. You won’t be disappointed.

Now I’m back at Eddie and Mia’s and I’ll go into London to meet Sisuile at the BM and for one last English soiree before jetting off to Macedonia on Wednesday.

2 thoughts on “Winchester”

  1. Winchester

    Dirik and I missed the chance to go to Winchester in May to a SCA event that was held there, Winchester Pilgrimage. They are looking at making it an annual event as all that did get to go remarked on how wonderful the site and event turned out. So if all goes well next year we will be able go an enjoy the historical site.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.