Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire

Full Dedication: Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, St. Peter, St. Paul and St. Swithun
Became a Cathedral in 676 AD

Winchester is one of England's great Cathedrals. The earliest records date to Roman times, and a Saxon church can still be followed in outline today. Winchester became a Cathedral in 676 AD at which time the City was the English capital following the accession of Alfred the Great who was buried in the early Cathedral. St. Swithun also died here in 862 AD and there is a famous story that when his bones were moved (in July 971) it rained for forty days - the tale now running that if it rains on St. Swithun's Day there will be a wet summer.

Winchester is one end of the Pilgrim's Way - the other end is in Canterbury - and as such grew even more in importance. In 1079 the newly arrived Normans saw the strategic importance of the city and began constructing the massive Cathedral we have today. In interior arcades date from 1394 and are amongst the most spectacular parts of the Cathedral.

A Benedictine Monastery was built adjoining the Cathedral and it continued to flourish throughout the Middle Ages. Of the Monastery there is now nothing to see, but the Cathedral is one of the most spectacular there is.

Amongst those buried inside are William Rufus and Jane Austen. There is also a small bronze statue of a diver, William Walker, who worked alone, in the dark in the flooded Norman crypt in order to shore up the foundations and allow the Cathedral to stand for generations to come.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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