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Uncover Years of English History at Winchester Cathedral

02 June 2021

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Situated on the edge of Winchester city centre, Winchester Holts is our new collection of two- and three-bedroom homes. Each has been designed with style and sophistication in mind, and act as a welcoming retreat after a day of exploring the city.

An iconic landmark in the centre of the city, Winchester Cathedral is a spectacular Anglo-Saxon Cathedral which has played an important part in England’s history for hundreds of years.

History of Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral originated in the seventh century when England’s pagan monarchy first became Christians when Cynegils, king of the Wessex, was first baptised in 635. A decade later, his son built the first Christian church in Winchester, the heart of Anglo- Saxon Wessex. The church, known as Old Minster, continued to increase in significance and by the year 1,000 it became a Cathedral, thriving priory church and final resting place of West Saxon Kings.

Change came about some years later when William the Conqueror successfully invaded England. Old Minster was demolished, and the new Cathedral, which still stands today, was built in 1093 with the remaining stones which can still be seen in the crypt. The Norman Cathedral flourished for many centuries but faced great challenges once more in the 1530s under Henry VIII’s reign, where it was reformed to become a Church of England Cathedral. These changes included a new prayer book written in English and new patterns of worship which are still reflected in the services at the Cathedral today.

What to see

Art and architecture: A walk around the Cathedral will take you through centuries of English architecture adorned with magnificent works of art, from paintings to carvings.

Winchester Bible: Written in Latin across 468 sheets of parchment, the Winchester Bible is one of the largest and finest English bibles from the 12th century.

Jane Austen’s grave: Pay respects to esteemed English novelist, Jane Austen, who was a great admirer of the Cathedral and was laid to rest there in 1817.

Statues: The eerie yet intricately designed crypt is home to Antony Gormley’s sculpture of a lone man, Sound II, which can be seen on the Crypt Tour. The Cathedral also has a statue of deep-sea diver, William Walker, who worked underwater for six years to save the Cathedral from collapse.

Peregrine cam: From the comfort of your own home, you can watch the Peregrine cam which has sight of the majestic birds that nest at the Cathedral every year.

Events and activities

Stonemasonry Course, 24-25 June

Learn the ancient craft of stonemasonry by Winchester Cathedral’s highly skilled stonemason. Participants will learn basic skills and techniques and take home with them their own piece of crafted stone. www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/events/stonemasonry-course

Waynflete Singers 50th Anniversary Gala Concert, 2 July

Postponed from last year, the Winchester choir will celebrate 50 years of performing at the Cathedral with a special Gala Concert, which will include works by celebrated composers Hubert Parry and Samuel Wesley. www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/events/waynflete-singers-50th-anniversary-gala-concert

Cathedral tour, year-round

Taking place five days a week, the Cathedral tour takes in the Cathedral’s many treasures and teaches visitors about its rich history, sharing insight into the characters and events that have shaped the history of England. www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/whats-on/guided-tours

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Owners at our new Winchester Holts community are a short walk from the city centre, where they can enjoy Winchester Cathedral along with shops, cafes, restaurants and more. To find out about the homes available, call 01962 418 059 or email [email protected].