Friday, April 28, 2017

Winchester Cathedral

I attended services during Easter week and toured the Cathedral to get a sense of this sacred place that reveals so much of English history.

I was there in 2017 and viewed two special events. Near the entrance are storyboards illustrating highlights of the life of Jane Austen whose floor grave marker is near a brass wall plaque. The year marks the 200th anniversary of her death in 1817 at a cottage near the Cathedral. Jane had come to Winchester for treatment of a particular physician but her health declined and she died at age 41. She was buried in the cathedral. The marker did not celebrate her works but a wall plaque added later corrects this oversight. As her fame grew, a memorial window was added above the plaque.

The second event was a display of the 12th century Winchester Bible, which is the magnificent work of one scribe. One of the four volumes was available and opened to an example of the Latin script and colourful artwork. The Bible is thought to have been commissioned by the Bishop of Winchester, grandson of William the Conqueror, in 1160. Staff and storyboards provide more information. There's more available from touchscreen presentations. Photography was not permitted.

Near the Bible exhibit is the oldest section of the Cathedral. You can see examples of art on the walls. And not far away is the oldest area of floor tiles dating from the 13th century.

13th Century tiles, Winchester Cathedral

Also nearby is the crypt, which is open to the public.

Crypt, Winchester Cathedral

The Cathedral is rich in the history of English Kings and church leaders. The remains of many are identified throughout the tour. Perhpas the most famous is King Alfred (849 to 899) who was buried in the Old Minster. In one of the mortunary chests are the reported bones of King Canute (aka Cnut) and Queen Emma.

There is much beauty to be appreciated and photography is permitted with a few exceptions.

A few more photos and a short video clip.

There is a fee for the tour but not for attending services.

There is a gift shop and toilets.

Learn more at the website Winchester Cathedral.

Address: 9 The Close Winchester  Hampshire  SO23 9LS, United Kingdom

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