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Winchester, England, United Kingdom



 


Notes: Winchester is a 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 the capital of Wessex before that. The town is at the western end of the South Downs with the scenic River Itchen running through it. The town is served by trains running from London Waterloo, Weymouth, Brighton, Portsmouth, Southampton and the North.
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.
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.
The earliest hammer-beamed building in England is also situated in the Cathedral Close, next to the Dean's garden. It is known as the Pilgrims' Hall, as it was part of the hostelry used to accommodate the many pilgrims to Saint Swithun's shrine. Left-overs from the lavish banquets of the Dean would be given to the pilgrims who were welcome to spend the night in the hall. It is thought by Winchester City Council to have been built in 1308. The Pilgrims' School is planning to organise some events in the year 2008. Now, the hall is used by the school for assemblies in the morning, drama lessons, plays, orchestral practices, Cathedral Waynflete rehearsals, the school's Senior Commoners' Choir rehearsals and so forth.
Wolvesey Castle and Palace
Wolvesey Castle was the Norman bishop's palace, dating from 1110, but standing on the site of an earlier Saxon structure. It was enhanced by Henry de Blois during the Anarchy of his brother King Stephen's reign. He was besieged there for some days. In the 16th century, Queen Mary Tudor and King Philip II of Spain were guests just prior to their wedding in the Cathedral. The building is now a ruin (maintained by English Heritage), but the chapel was incorporated into the new palace built in the 1680s, only one wing of which survives.
Winchester Castle
Winchester is well known for the Great Hall of its castle, which was built in the 12th century. The Great Hall was rebuilt, sometime between 1222-1235, and still exists in this form. It is famous for King Arthur's Round Table, which has hung in the hall from at least 1463. The table actually dates from the 13th century, and as such is not contemporary to Arthur. Despite this it is still of considerable historical interest and attracts many tourists. The table was originally unpainted, but was painted for King Henry VIII in 1522. The names of the legendary Knights of the Round Table are written around the edge of the table surmounted by King Arthur on his throne. Opposite the table are Prince Charles' 'Wedding Gates'. In the grounds of the Great Hall is a recreation of a medieval garden. Apart from the hall, only a few excavated remains of the stronghold survive amongst the modern Law Courts. The buildings were supplanted by the King's House, now incorporated into the Peninsula Barracks where there are several military museums. Winchester is also home to the Army Training Regiment Winchester, otherwise known as Sir John Moore Barracks, where Army recruits undergo their phase one training.
History
Early history
Settlement in the area dates back to pre-Roman times, with an Iron Age enclosure or valley fort, Oram's Arbour, on the western side of the present-day city. After the Roman conquest of Britain the civitas, then named Venta Belgarum or "Market of the Belgae", was of considerable importance.
The city may have been the Caergwinntguic or Caergwintwg (literally meaning "White Fortress") as recorded by Nennius after the Roman occupation. This name was corrupted into Wintanceastre following the Anglo-Saxon conquest of the area in 519.
Anglo-Saxon times
The city has historic importance as it replaced Dorchester-on-Thames as the defacto capital of the ancient kingdom of Wessex in about 686 after King Caedwalla of Wessex defeated King Atwald of Wight. Although it was not the only town to have been the capital, it was established by King Egbert as the main city in his kingdom in 827. Saint Swithun was Bishop of Winchester in the mid-9th century. The Saxon street plan laid out by Alfred is still evident today: a cross shaped street system which conformed to the standard town planning system of the day - overlaying the pre-existing Roman street plan (incorporating the ecclesiastical quarter in the south-east; the judicial quarter in the south-west; the tradesmen in the north-east). The town was part of a series of fortifications along the south coast. Built by Alfred to protect the Kingdom, they were known as 'burhs'. The boundary of the old town is visible in places (a wooden barricade surrounded by ditches in Saxon times) now a stone wall. Four main gates were positioned in the north, south, east and west plus the additional Durngate and King's Gate. Winchester remained the capital of Wessex, and then England, until some time after the Norman Conquest when the capital was moved to London.
Medieval and later times
A serious fire in the city in 1141 accelerated its decline. However, William of Wykeham (1320-1404) played an important role in the city's restoration. As Bishop of Winchester he was responsible for much of the current structure of the cathedral, and he founded Winchester College as well as New College, Oxford. During the Middle Ages, the city was an important centre of the wool trade, before going into a slow decline.
The famous novelist Jane Austen died in Winchester on 18 July 1817 and is buried in the cathedral.

OpenStreetMap

City/Town : Latitude: 51.0632, Longitude: -1.3085


Birth

Matches 1 to 1 of 1

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Birth    Person ID 
1 van Engeland, Mathilde  1102Winchester, England, United Kingdom I30577

Died

Matches 1 to 2 of 2

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Died    Person ID 
1 van Gainsborough, Elswitha  05 Dec 905Winchester, England, United Kingdom I31007
2 van Normandië, Emma  06 Mar 1052Winchester, England, United Kingdom I21008

Married

Matches 1 to 3 of 3

   Family    Married    Family ID 
1 Savoye / Bourgogne  01 May 1401Winchester, England, United Kingdom F39857
2 Spanje / Engeland en Ierland  25 Jul 1544Winchester, England, United Kingdom F241669
3 Wessex / Gainsborough  869Winchester, England, United Kingdom F12181

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