Monday, 11 April 2011

Winchester. England’s ancient Capital.

Winchester Cathedral from the front.

Winchester Cathedral.

Despite the fact that we are sort of out in the country and it is Sunday we still managed to find a bus to take us into the ancient city of Winchester. There were only 3 buses each way but they were nicely spaced out to give us plenty of time to investigate this amazing city.

Wolvesey Castle ruins in Winchester.Wolvesey Castle ruins in Winchester.

The original seat of King Alfred the Great who restored Winchester after the dark ages and made it his Capital. From Roman times through the Regency, Georgian and Elizabethan periods there is something of all of this  to be found somewhere in Winchester if you look carefully enough. There is enough history in Winchester alone without taking in the rest of the country.

All white daffodils in the grounds of Wolvesey Castle ruins in Winchester.All white daffodils in the grounds of Wolvesey Castle ruins in Winchester.

The West gate museum which was one of several gateways into the medieval city originally housed a portcullis which was lowered nightly at 8pm struck by the town bell. It became a debtors prison for 150 years where prisoners had carved their names into floor boards and wall blocks. Executed prisoners were sometimes placed in a Gibbet, an iron frame to hold the body, and hung out to rot as a warning to others not to follow suit.

Winchester town clock still chimes curfew at 8pm. A left over from ancient times when the portcullises were lowered for the night.Winchester town clock still chimes curfew at 8pm. A left over from ancient times when the portcullises were lowered for the night.

West gate Winchester.

West Gate Winchester at the top of High Street one of the earliest streets in Britain.

Along with Winchester Cathedral, Wolvesey Castle ruins, the Guildhall, Abbey House and gardens, the Great Hall, City Water Mill, Peninsular Military barracks, Gurkha Museum and the Rifle and Horse Power museum’s of the Kings Royal Hussars there is plenty to see. Six hours disappeared in no time at all and we had to get back to the bus station so as not to miss the last bus back.

These shiny gates were made to commemorate the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

These shiny gates in the Grand Hall were made to commemorate the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

16thC painted ceiling panels in the West Gate, Winchester. Rediscovered in 1885 and saved from destruction.16th C painted ceiling panels in the West Gate, Winchester. Rediscovered in 1885 and saved from destruction.

2 comments:

Jill and Graham said...

My Birth Place.
G.

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Graham
Lovely place, we learn something every day. :-)