WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL

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WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL

The present Winchester Cathedral dates from 1079, but was first founded in 642AD. It lies at the heart of the old Saxon capital of Wessex, and England, and was the original burial place of Alfred the Great (d 899) and other kings, including Cnut (d 1035), as well as St Swithun (d 863). The Norman building overlaps its predecessor, which was situated to the north, and has the longest nave and greatest overall length of any Gothic Cathedral in Europe. It is a fascinating place to visit.  Particular features include the 14th century choir stalls, the stunning screen behind the high altar and the west window, destroyed during the Civil War and rebuilt in 1660 using fragments of the shattered glass. In six mortuary chests above the presbytery are human remains, believed to be those of Saxon-Danish royalty, including Emma of Normandy (d 1052), Cnut, Harthacnut (d 1042), Edmund Ironside (d 1016) and kings of Wessex - Cynegils (d 642), Cynewulf (d 786), Egbert (d 839) and Eadred (d 858) . Also buried in the church among the bishops is one of Britain’s favourite novelists, Jane Austen and – somewhere – King William (Rufus) II. In the crypt is Antony Gormley’s statue, ‘Sound II’. Among the priceless treasures and great works of art at Winchester Cathedral is the astonishing 12th century Winchester Bible. Winchester was one of the richest sees in medieval England, whose bishops included William of Wykeham, twice Chancellor of England under Edward III and Richard II, and Cardinal Henry Beaufort, half-brother of Henry IV.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
9 The Close
Winchester
County
Hampshire
Post Code
SO23 9LS
Main Historic Period
Medieval
Useful Website Address
Primary Management
Church Authorities

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