Winchester is a small, beautiful, historic city that was the capital of England during the 10th and early 11th centuries.
This was built in the 11th century, shortly after the Norman invasion of England. It was recently used in the filming of The Da Vinci Code, where it doubled as the Vatican. The famous writer Jane Austen was buried here and so was King William II, son of William the Conqueror.
This is the only surviving part of the old Winchester Castle. It was rebuilt in the 13th century and still exists in this form.
It is best known for the Round Table, which has hung in the hall for over 700 years. According to myth, the wizard Merlin created the original Round Table for King Arthur. This is an imitation believed to be made in the 13th century for Edward 1, who was interested in the legend of King Arthur. Henry VIII had it painted in 1522 to show himself sitting in King Arthur’s seat. The names of the legendary Knights of the Round Table are written around the edge of the table.
A small but pretty medieval garden, Queen Eleanor’s Garden, is next to the Great Hall.
Things to See Around the City
The walk along the River Itchen from College Street to the City Mill is beautiful.
Statue of King Alfred
Perhaps the most important person in Winchester’s history was King Alfred. He was a Saxon king, and established Winchester as the capital of the ancient kingdom of Wessex in the year 827.
Located in the High Street, this 15th-century monument was used by countrymen to sell produce such as butter. This is how it got the name ‘Butter Cross’.
A working water mill in the heart of the city.
A medieval gate to the city, with a small but free museum.
Free museum exploring the history of the city of Winchester.
Five museums located near each other.
Founded in 1382, this is believed to be the oldest continuously-running school in England. It is attended by 700 boys aged 13-18. Guided tours are available.
Free entry. See the ruins of the former Bishop’s Palace.
Located just outside the city centre, the beautiful almshouses and vast Norman chapel of Hospital of St Cross were founded in the 1130s.