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{{About|the English city|other uses}}{{short description|city in Hampshire, England}}

| population = 45,184PUBLISHER=HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL URL-STATUS=DEAD ARCHIVEDATE=8 JANUARY 2015, dmy-all, City of Winchester>Winchester| shire_county = Hampshire| region = South East EnglandWinchester (UK Parliament constituency)>Winchester| post_town = WINCHESTER| postcode_area = SO| postcode_district = SO22, SO23| dial_code = 01962| os_grid_reference = SU485295| static_image_name = Winchester cathedral - - 1628919.jpg| static_image_caption = Winchester city centre and Cathedral from the north-west| static_image_2_name = Wintonia.png| static_image_2_width = 120| static_image_2_caption = Coat of arms of Winchester60|mi}}}}Winchester is a city and the county town of Hampshire, England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, at the western end of the South Downs National Park, on the River Itchen.BOOK, Landranger 185: Winchester & Basingstoke, Ordnance Survey, 1:50,000, 2005, 978-0-319-22884-5, It is {{convert|60|mi|km}} south-west of London and {{convert|14|mi|km|0}} from Southampton, the closest other city. At the 2011 Census, Winchester had a population of 45,184. The wider City of Winchester district, which includes towns such as Alresford and Bishop's Waltham, has a population of 116,800.WEB,weblink 2011 Census: KS101EW Usual resident population, local authorities in England and Wales, National Statistics, 5 January 2015, Winchester developed from the Roman town of Venta Belgarum, which in turn developed from an Iron Age oppidum. Winchester's major landmark is Winchester Cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, with the distinction of having the longest nave and overall length of all Gothic cathedrals in Europe. The city is home to the University of Winchester and Winchester College, the oldest public school in the United Kingdom still using its original buildings.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}



The area around Winchester has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with three Iron Age hillforts, Oram's Arbour, St. Catherine's Hill, and Worthy Down all nearby. In the Late Iron Age, a more urban settlement type developed, known as an oppidum, although the archaeology of this phase remains obscure. It was overrun by the confederation of Gaulish tribes known as the Belgae sometime in the 1st century BCE. It seems to have been known as Wentā or Venta, derived from the Brittonic for "town" or "meeting place",Matasović, Ranko. "wentā" in the Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic at Indo-European Etymological Dictionaries Online. Brill Online, 2014. Accessed 24 July 2014.{{dead link|date=December 2017 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} or the word for "white" (Welsh gwyn), due to Winchester's situation upon chalk.BOOK, Long, Henry Lawes, Observations Upon Certain Roman Roads and Towns in the South of Britain, 1836, Nichols and sons, Oxford University, 978-1354701065, 26, 17 October 2018,weblink

Roman period

After the Roman conquest of Britain, the settlement served as the capital () of the Belgae and was distinguished as Venta Belgarum, "Venta of the Belgae". Although in the early years of the Roman province it was of subsidiary importance to Silchester and Chichester, Venta eclipsed them both by the latter half of the second century.Cunliffe B. Wessex to AD 1000 1997 At the beginning of the third century, Winchester was given protective stone walls.WEB,weblink Winchester,, 26 October 2012, At around this time the city covered an area of {{convert|144|acres}}, making it among the largest towns in Roman Britain by surface area.WEB, Major Roman Settlements,weblink British towns, 18 June 2014, There was a limited suburban area outside the walls.WEB, PJO archaeology,weblink 22 January 2011, Like many other Roman towns however, Winchester began to decline in the later fourth century.WEB,weblink A History of Winchester,, 26 October 2012, File:Winchester-alfred-wyrdlight.jpg|thumb|Statue of Alfred the Great by Hamo ThornycroftHamo Thornycroft

Medieval period

After the Roman withdrawal from Britain in 410, urban life seems to have continued at Venta Belgarum until around 450, and a small administrative centre might have continued after that on the site of the later Anglo-Saxon palace. Ford identifies the community as the {{nowrap|Cair Guinntguic}}Nennius ({{abbr|attrib.|Traditional attribution}}). Theodor Mommsen ({{abbr|ed.|Editor}}). s: Composed after {{sc|ad}} 830. {{la icon}} Hosted at s:. ("Fort Venta") is listed by Nennius among the 28 cities of Britain in his History of the Britons.Ford, David Nash. "The 28 Cities of Britain {{Webarchive|url= |date=15 April 2016 }}" at Britannia. 2000. Amid the Saxon invasions of Britain, cemeteries dating to the 6th and 7th centuries suggest a revival of settlement.(File:Anglo-Saxon Chronicle - Wintan ceastre (British Library Cotton MS Tiberius A VI, folio 12r).jpg|thumb|left|A mention of Wintan-ceastre in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle)The city became known as Wintan-ceastre ("Fort Venta") in Old English.WEB, 'Wintan-ceaster',weblink Anglo Saxon Dictionary, Bosworth-Toller, 18 June 2014, In 648, King Cenwalh of Wessex erected the Church of SS Peter and Paul, later known as the Old Minster. This became a cathedral in the 660s when the West Saxon bishopric was transferred from Dorchester-on-Thames. The present form of the city dates from reconstruction in the late 9th century, when King Alfred the Great obliterated the Roman street plan in favour of a new grid in order to provide better defence against the Vikings. The city's first mint appears to date from this period.ENCYCLOPEDIA, The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England, 2014, 2nd, Wiley Blackwell, 978-0-631-22492-1, Winchester, John, Crook, Lapidge, Michael, etal, In the early 10th century there were two new ecclesiastical establishments: the convent of Nunnaminster, founded by Alfred's widow Ealhswith,*ENCYCLOPEDIA, Marios, Costambeys, Oxford University Press, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Ealhswith (d. 902), 2004,weblink 21 June 2014, 10.1093/ref:odnb/39226, {{ODNBsub}} and the New Minster. Bishop Æthelwold of Winchester was a leading figure in the monastic reform movement of the later 10th century. He expelled the secular canons of both minsters and replaced them with monks. He created the drainage system, the "Lockburn", which served as the town drain until 1875, and still survives. Also in the late 10th century, the Old Minster was enlarged as a centre of the cult of the 9th century Bishop of Winchester, Saint Swithun. The three minsters were the home of what architectural historian John Crook describes as "the supreme artistic achievements" of the Winchester School.The consensus among historians of Anglo-Saxon England is that the court was mobile in this period and there was no fixed capital.BOOK, Stenton, Frank M., Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England, 1971, 3rd, Clarendon Press, 539, 978-0-19-280139-5, BOOK, Foot, Sarah, Sarah Foot, Æthelstan: the first king of England, Yale University Press, 2011, 78, 978-0-300-12535-1, BOOK, Naismith, Rory, Citadel of the Saxons: The Rise of Early London, 11, I. B. Tauris, London, UK, 2019, 978-1-3501-3568-0, Martin Biddle has suggested that Winchester was a centre for royal administration in the 7th and 8th centuries, but this is questioned by Barbara Yorke, who sees it as significant that the shire was named after Hamtun, the forerunner of Southampton.JOURNAL, Yorke, Barbara, Barbara Yorke, Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society, The Foundation of the Old Minster and the Status of Winchester in the Seventh and Eighth Centuries, 38, 1982, 79–80, 0142-8950, However, Winchester is described by the historian Catherine Cubitt as "the premier city of the West Saxon kingdom"BOOK, Catherine, Cubitt, Pastoral Care and Religious Belief, 399, A Companion to the Early Middle Ages: Britain and Ireland c.500- c.1100, Pauline, Stafford, Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, UK, 2009, 978-1-118-42513-8, and Janet Nelson describes London and Winchester as Alfred the Great's "proto-capitals".BOOK, Nelson, Janet, Power and authority at the Court of Alfred, Roberts, and, Nelson, Janet, Essays on Anglo-Saxon and Related Themes in Memory of Lynne Grundy, 327-28, London, 2000, King's College London Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies, 978-0-9522119-9-0, File:The Buttercross in Winchester.jpg|thumb|left|The Winchester ButtercrossButtercrossThere was a fire in the city in 1141 during the Rout of Winchester. Much later, William of Wykeham played a role in the city's restoration. As Bishop of Winchester he was responsible for much of the current structure of the cathedral, and he founded the still extant public school Winchester College. During the Middle Ages, the city was an important centre of the wool trade, before going into a slow decline.{{Citation needed|date=August 2016}} The curfew bell in the bell tower (near the clock in the picture), still sounds at 8:00 pm each evening.(File:Winchester High Street Mudie 1853.jpg|thumb|Winchester High Street in the mid 19th century.)Jews lived in Winchester from at least 1148, and in the 13th century the Jewish community in the city was one of the most important in England. There was an archa in the city, and the Jewish quarter was located in the city's heart (present day Jewry street). There were a series of blood libel claims against the Jewish community in the 1220s and 1230s, which likely was the cause of the hanging of the community's leader, Abraham Pinch, in front of the synagogue of which he was the head. Simon de Montfort ransacked the Jewish quarter in 1264, and in 1290 all Jews were expelled from England.WEB, The Jewish Community of Winchester,weblink The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, 2 July 2018,

Modern period

The City Cross (also known as the Buttercross) has been dated to the 15th century, and features 12 statues of the Virgin Mary, other saints and various historical figures. Several statues appear to have been added throughout the structure's history. In 1770, Thomas Dummer purchased the Buttercross from the Corporation of Winchester, intending to have it re-erected at Cranbury Park, near Otterbourne. When his workmen arrived to dismantle the cross, they were prevented from doing so by the people of the city, who "organised a small riot",WEB, The Buttercross, Winchester,weblink 1998, City of Winchester, 23 September 2009, and they were forced to abandon their task. The agreement with the city was cancelled and Dummer erected a lath and plaster facsimile, which stood in the park for about sixty years before it was destroyed by the weather.WEB, Yonge, Charlotte M., Chapter 8: Old Otterbourne,weblink 1898, John Keble's Parishes, Online literature, 23 September 2009, Charlotte M. Yonge, The Buttercross itself was restored by George Gilbert Scott in 1865, and still stands in the High Street. It is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument.WEB, City Cross or 'Butter Cross', Winchester,weblink Historic England, 16 December 2016, Three notable bronze sculptures can be seen in or from the High Street by major sculptors of the 19th and 20th centuries, the earliest a monumental statue of Queen Victoria, now in the Great Hall, by Sir Alfred Gilbert (also known as the sculptor of 'Eros' in London's Piccadilly Circus), King Alfred, facing the city with raised sword from the centre of The Broadway, by Hamo Thornycroft and the modern striking Horse and Rider by Dame Elizabeth Frink at the entrance to the Law Courts.The novelist Jane Austen died in Winchester on 18 July 1817 and is buried in the cathedral.NEWS, Jane Austen 'died from arsenic poisoning',weblink 18 June 2014, The Guardian, 14 November 2011, While staying in Winchester from mid-August to October 1819, the Romantic poet John Keats wrote "Isabella", "St. Agnes' Eve", "To Autumn", "Lamia" and parts of "Hyperion" and the five-act poetic tragedy "Otho The Great".NEWS, John Keats – autumnal idealist or trenchant social commentator?,weblink 18 June 2014, The Guardian, 23 March 2012, In 2013, businesses involved in the housing market were reported by a local newspaper as saying that the city's architectural and historical interest, and its fast links to other towns and cities, had led Winchester to become one of the most expensive and desirable areas of the country and {{Fix|text=who?}}ranked Winchester as one of the least deprived areas in England and Wales.NEWS, Winchester hits top ten list of places to live in the UK,weblink 18 June 2014, Hampshire Chronicle, 26 December 2013,


Winchester is situated on a bed of Cretaceous lower chalk with small areas of clay and loam soil, inset with combined clay and rich sources of fuller's earth.{{Citation needed|date=October 2015}}


As with the rest of the UK, Winchester experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb). The nearest Met Office station is in Martyr Worthy, just outside the city.{{Weather box|location = Martyr Worthy, Winchester (1981–2010)|metric first = yes|single line = yes|Jan high C = 7.4|Feb high C = 7.8|Mar high C = 10.6|Apr high C = 13.6|May high C = 17.2|Jun high C = 20.1|Jul high C = 22.7|Aug high C = 22.5|Sep high C = 19.3|Oct high C = 14.9|Nov high C = 10.6|Dec high C = 7.8|Jan low C = 1.3|Feb low C = 1.0|Mar low C = 2.6|Apr low C = 3.7|May low C = 6.7|Jun low C = 9.4|Jul low C = 11.3|Aug low C = 11.4|Sep low C = 9.4|Oct low C = 7.1|Nov low C = 3.7|Dec low C = 1.7|Jan precipitation mm = 77|Feb precipitation mm = 52|Mar precipitation mm = 57|Apr precipitation mm = 50|May precipitation mm = 52|Jun precipitation mm = 47|Jul precipitation mm = 48|Aug precipitation mm = 52|Sep precipitation mm = 56|Oct precipitation mm = 88|Nov precipitation mm = 89|Dec precipitation mm = 80|Jan rain days = 12|Feb rain days = 9|Mar rain days = 10|Apr rain days = 9|May rain days = 9|Jun rain days = 8|Jul rain days = 9|Aug rain days = 8|Sep rain days = 9|Oct rain days = 11|Nov rain days = 12|Dec rain days = 12|Jan sun = 58|Feb sun = 81|Mar sun = 108|Apr sun = 165|May sun = 195|Jun sun = 190|Jul sun = 199|Aug sun = 191|Sep sun = 142|Oct sun = 110|Nov sun = 71|Dec sun = 53 TITLE = WINCHESTER, HAMPSHIRE CLIMATE TABLES, }}


Aside from the city centre, there are several suburbs and neighbourhoods within the city, including:


Since 1974 the city has been governed as part of the wider City of Winchester district of Hampshire. The district has 16 electoral wards, Five of these cover the area of the city itself: St Barnabas, St Bartholomew, St Paul, St Luke, and St Michael;WEB,weblink Winchester City Council Ward Map, Winchester City Council, they have three councillors each apart from St Luke, which is a two-member ward. For Hampshire County Council elections, the City of Winchester is made up of 7 wards{{clarify|date=September 2019}}, with Winchester Westgate and Winchester Eastgate.The current ward boundaries were adopted in 2016, when all seats were up for election. Since then, Winchester City Council elections take place in three out of every four years, with one third of the councillors elected in each election. From the 2006 election until the 2010 election the council was led by Conservatives.NEWS,weblink Winchester, 4 February 2010, BBC News, 19 April 2008, In 2010 it was briefly controlled by the Liberal Democrats, before being controlled by the Conservatives again from 2011 until 2019, when the Liberal Democrats took control.From 1835 to 1974, Winchester was governed as a municipal borough of Hampshire.WEB,weblink Winchester: Introduction - British History Online,, Until 1902 the city's affairs were also administered partly by its parishes: St Lawrence, St Mary Kalendar, St Maurice, St Michael, St Peter Colebrook, St Swithin, St Thomas, St John, St Bartholomew Hyde, Milland, St Faith, and St Peter Cheesehill, and its extra-parochial areas: Cathedral Precincts, St Mary's College Precincts, St Cross Hospital Precinct, and Wolvesey.WEB,weblink Winchester MB through time,, Historically, the south of the city had come under the "Liberty of the Soke", and was thereby self-governing to a large extent.WEB,weblink Winchester: The soke - British History Online,, WEB,weblink Winchester Soke/Liberty through time,, Winchester is currently represented in the House of Commons by Steve Brine, formerly of the Conservatives, who in the 2010 General Election beat Martin Tod, the Liberal Democrat candidate, by 3048 votes (a margin of 5.4%).NEWS,weblink Tories sweep in but lose control of city council, 7 August 2010, Hampshire Chronicle, Andrew Napier, May 2010, Mark Oaten had previously won the seat for the Liberal Democrats during the 1997 general election in which he defeated Gerry Malone, a Health Minister in John Major's Conservative Government who had held the seat since 1992. Brine was re-elected in 2015 and in 2017, and since September 2019 sits as an independent.



(File:WinCath30Je6-4836wiki.jpg|thumb|right|A view of Winchester Cathedral.)Winchester Cathedral was originally built in 1079 and remains the longest Gothic cathedral in Europe. It contains much fine architecture spanning the 11th to the 16th centuries and is the place of interment of numerous Bishops of Winchester (such as William of Wykeham), Anglo-Saxon monarchs (such as Egbert of Wessex) and later monarchs such as King Canute and William Rufus.BOOK, Dodson, Aidan, The Royal Tombs of Great Britain, London, Gerald Duckworth & Co., 2004, It was once an important pilgrimage centre and housed the shrine of Saint Swithun. The ancient Pilgrims' Way to Canterbury begins at Winchester. The plan of the earlier Old Minster is laid out in the grass adjoining the cathedral. The New Minster (the original burial place of Alfred the Great and Edward the Elder) once stood beside it. The cathedral has a girls choir and a boys choir, who sing regularly in the cathedral.Winchester Cathedral Close contains a number of historic buildings from the time when the cathedral was also a priory. Of particular note is the Deanery, which dates back to the 13th century. It was originally the Prior's House, and was the birthplace of Arthur, Prince of Wales in 1486. Not far away is Cheyney Court, a mid 15th-century timber-framed house incorporating the Porter's Lodge for the Priory Gate. It was the Bishop's court house.The earliest hammer-beamed building still standing in England is situated in the Cathedral Close, next to the Dean's garden. It is known as the Pilgrims' Hall, as it was part of the hostelry used to accommodate the many pilgrims to Saint Swithun's shrine. Left-overs from the lavish banquets of the Priors (the monastic predecessors of the later Deans) would be given to the pilgrims, who were welcome to spend the night in the hall. It is thought by Winchester City Council to have been built in 1308. Now part of The Pilgrims' School, the hall is used by the school for assemblies in the morning, drama lessons, plays, orchestral practices, Cathedral Waynflete{{clarify|date=September 2019}} rehearsals, the school's Senior Commoners' Choir rehearsals etc.Entrance for pedestrians to the North garth of the cathedral is via the Norman arches of Saint Maurice′s tower, in the High Street.Hampshire Churches, Margaret Green,Winton Pubs.Ltd.1967. Page 90.

Wolvesey Castle and Palace

Wolvesey Castle was the Norman bishop's palace, dating from 1110, but standing on the site of an earlier Saxon structure. It was enhanced by Henry de Blois during the Anarchy of his brother King Stephen's reign. He was besieged there for some days. In the 16th century, Queen Mary Tudor and King Philip II of Spain were guests just before their wedding in the Cathedral. The building is now a ruin (maintained by English Heritage), but the chapel was incorporated into the new palace built in the 1680s, only one wing of which survives.


File:Winchester RoundTable.jpg|thumb|The "Winchester Round Table" in the Great Hall of Winchester CastleWinchester CastleWinchester is well known for the Great Hall of its castle, which was built in the 12th century. The Great Hall was rebuilt sometime between 1222 and 1235, and still exists in this form. It is famous for King Arthur's Round Table, which has hung in the hall from at least 1463. The table actually dates from the 13th century, and as such is not contemporary to Arthur. Despite this it is still of considerable historical interest and attracts many tourists. The table was originally unpainted, but was painted for King Henry VIII in 1522. The names of the legendary Knights of the Round Table are written around the edge of the table surmounted by King Arthur on his throne. Opposite the table are Prince Charles's 'Wedding Gates'. In the grounds of the Great Hall is a recreation of a medieval garden. Apart from the hall, only a few excavated remains of the stronghold survive among the modern Law Courts. The buildings were supplanted by the adjacent King's House, now incorporated into the Peninsula Barracks where there are five military museums.WEB,weblink 15 April 2012, Winchester's Military Museums, Winchester's Military Museums, (The training that used to be carried out at the barracks is now done by the Army Training Regiment Winchester, based at the Sir John Moore Barracks, {{convert|2|mi|km|sigfig=1}} outside the city).WEB, MOD Training and Education,weblink MOD Training, Ministry of Defence, 18 June 2014,

Hospital of St Cross

(File:The Hospital of St Cross.jpg|alt=The Hospital of St Cross|thumb|The Hospital of St Cross)The almshouses and vast Norman chapel of Hospital of St Cross were founded just outside the city centre by Henry de Blois in the 1130s. Since at least the 14th century, and still available today, a 'wayfarer's dole' of ale and bread has been handed out there. It was supposedly instigated to aid pilgrims on their way to Canterbury.File:Winchesterguildhall.jpg|thumb|right|Winchester GuildhallWinchester Guildhall

City museum

The City Museum, located on the corner of Great Minster Street and The Square, contains much information on the history of Winchester. Early examples of Winchester measures of standard capacity are on display. The museum was one of the first purpose-built museums to be constructed outside London.WEB, The City Museum, Winchester,weblink 1998, City of Winchester, 12 July 2012, Local items featured include the Roman Venta BelgarumWEB, Winchester City Museum - Hampshire Cultural Trust,weblink gallery, and some genuine period shop interiors taken from the nearby High Street. Other places of cultural interest include the Westgate Museum (which showcases various items of weaponry), and the Historic Resources Centre, which holds many records related to the history of the city. In 2014 ownership of the City museum was transferred to the Hampshire Cultural Trust as part of a larger transfer of museums from Hampshire County Council and Winchester City CouncilNEWS, Hampshire and Winchester museums and art leased to trust,weblink BBC News, 1 November 2014, 4 November 2014,

Other buildings

Other important historic buildings include the Guildhall dating from 1871 in the Gothic revival style,WEB, History of Winchester Guildhall,weblink Winchester Museum Collection, 18 June 2014, the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, designed by William Butterfield, and Winchester City Mill, one of the city's several water mills driven by the River Itchen that runs through the city centre. The mill has recently been restored, and is again milling corn by water power. It is owned by the National Trust.Castle Hill is the location of the Council Chamber for Hampshire County Council.WEB,weblink Map, Hampshire County Council, 2 September 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 22 February 2016, dead, Between Jewry Street and St Peter's Street is St Peter's Catholic Church. It was built in 1924 and designed by Frederick Walters. Next to it is Milner Hall, built in the 1780s it was the first Catholic church to be consecrated since 1558.Winchester (The Milner Hall) - St Peter {{Webarchive|url= |date=16 July 2018 }} from English Heritage, retrieved 16 July 2018{{clear}}

Painted bollards

(File:The Square after snow, Winchester - - 1146180.jpg|thumb|The Square after snow){{Commons category|Winchester painted bollards}}A series of 24 bollards on the corner of Great Minster Street and The Square were painted in the style of famous artists, or with topical scenes, by The Colour Factory between 2005-2012 at the behest of Winchester City Council.({{Coord|51.062|-1.31525|display=inline|name=The Square}})File:Painted Bollard, Winchester 01.jpg|Bollard in the style of A Bigger Splash by David HockneyFile:Painted Bollard, Winchester 02.jpg|Bollard in the style of Beasts of the Sea by Henri MatisseFile:Painted Bollard, Winchester 03.jpg|Bollard in the style of Fulfillment by Gustav KlimtFile:Painted Bollard, Winchester 04.jpg|Bollard in the style of Summertime by Jackson PollockFile:Painted Bollard, Winchester 07.jpg|Bollard in the style of Golconda by René MagritteFile:Painted Bollard, Winchester 13.jpg|Bollard in the style of Regatta at Cowes and Landscape at Villerville by Raoul DufyFile:Painted Bollard, Winchester 15.jpg|Bollard in the style of Rhythm Colour by Sonia DelaunayFile:Painted Bollard, Winchester 17.jpg|Bollard in the style of The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri RousseauFile:Painted Bollard, Winchester 37.jpg|Bollard in the style of Le Rêve (The Dream) by Pablo PicassoFile:Painted Bollard, Winchester 33.jpg|Bollard in the style of Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci


State-funded schools

Primary schools

Winchester has a variety of Church of England primary schools, including both state and private provision schools. St Peters Catholic Primary School had the highest SATS results, after achieving a perfect score of 300 in 2011.NEWS, Primary Schools (KS1 and 2),weblink Hampshire Chronicle, 17 June 2014,

Secondary schools

There are four state comprehensive secondary schools in Winchester; the Henry Beaufort School, Kings' School Winchester, and The Westgate School are all situated in the city. A fourth state school, the Osborne School, a community special school is also located in Winchester.WEB,weblink Archived copy, 24 March 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 March 2014, dmy-all,

Independent schools

File:Winchester College War Cloister.jpg|thumb|War Cloister|Winchester College War CloisterWinchester College War CloisterIndependent junior/preparatory schools are The Pilgrims' School Winchester, the Prince's Mead School and Twyford School, which is just outside the city and claims to be the oldest preparatory school in the United Kingdom.WEB,weblink Archived copy, 24 July 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 30 July 2014, dmy-all, There are two major independent senior schools in Winchester, St Swithun's (a day and boarding school for girls from nursery to sixth form) and Winchester College, a boys' public school.WEB, Winchester College Guise,weblink Winchester College, 17 June 2014, Both schools often top the examination result tables for the city and county.WEB, Winchester College grades,weblink Winchester College, 17 June 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 2 November 2014, dead,

Special schools

Osborne School is a state-funded special school for pupils aged 11 to 19 which is located in Winchester. Shepherds Down Special School is a state funded special school for pupils aged 4 to 11, located just outside of the city in the boundaries of Compton.

Tertiary, further and higher education

The University of Winchester (formerly King Alfred's College) is a public university based in Winchester and the surrounding area. It is ranked 10th for teaching excellence in The Times and The Sunday Times 2016 Good University Guide, with a 92% rating, and fourth for student satisfaction in England in the National Student Survey 2015.WEB,weblink The University of Winchester - The Student Room,, The University origins go back as far as 1840—originally as a Diocesan teacher training centre. King Alfred's, the main campus, is located on a purpose built campus near the city centre. The newly completed West Downs is a short walk away, and houses student facilities and accommodation and the business school.NEWS, Our Campuses,weblink, 26 October 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 3 November 2012, dead, dmy-all, The Winchester School of Art was founded in the 1860s as an independent institution and is now a school of the University of Southampton.Peter Symonds College is a college that serves Winchester. It began as a Grammar School for boys in 1897, and became a co-educational sixth form college in 1974.Add citation


Winchester has Winchester City FC who currently play in the Southern League and Winchester Castle FC, who have played in the Hampshire League since 1971. The local Saturday football league, the Winchester & District League, folded in 2010.Winchester City Flyers are a girls and ladies football club established in 1996 with nearly 200 members, playing from U9 to ladies football.The St Cross Symondians Cricket Club is one of the first cricket clubs in Hampshire, and, with 5 men's sides, 2 women's sides, a successful junior's side, and weekend sides, is one of the largest as well.Winchester has a rugby union team, Winchester RFC, and an athletics club, Winchester and District AC. The city has a field hockey club, Winchester Hockey Club,WEB,weblink Winchester Hockey Club,, 14 April 2011, 3 June 2011, Lawn bowls is played at several clubs. The oldest bowling green belongs to Friary Bowling Club (first used in 1820),BOOK, The Friary Bowling Club 1820–1970, Harold Thomas, while the oldest bowls club is Hyde Abbey Bowling Club (established in 1812).NEWS,weblink Bowled over by support from mayors, Hampshire Chronicle, 18 April 2012, 13 August 2013, Riverside Indoor Bowling Club remains open during the winter months.There are three 18-hole golf courses. Royal Winchester Golf Club is on downland adjacent to the Clarendon Way with fine views over distant country. John Henry Taylor was the club professional when winning the Open Championship in 1894 and 1895, and there is a room with memorabilia named after him. Hockley Golf Club is dramatically positioned on St Catherine's Hill, also with extensive views. South Winchester Golf Club is another downland course, and a relative newcomer, designed by David Thomas and Peter Alliss. Visitors are welcome at all three clubs.Winchester College invented and gave its name to Winchester College Football, played exclusively at the College and in some small African/South American communities.{{Citation needed|date=May 2015}}



Winchester is located near the M3 motorway and at the meeting of the A34, A31, A3090 and A272 roads. Once a major traffic bottleneck, the city still suffers from congestion at peak times. It is just to the south of the A303 and A30.

Roman road

A Roman road originating in Salisbury called The Clarendon Way ends in Winchester.WEB, The Clarendon Way,weblink Hampshire County Council, 8 December 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 24 September 2012, dead, dmy-all, The Clarendon Way is now a recreational footpath.

Bus services

(File:Winchester bus station 2.jpg|thumb|Winchester bus station)Local, rural and Park and Ride bus services are provided by Stagecoach South, who run to Andover, Alton, Basingstoke, Petersfield, Romsey and Fareham. Bluestar provide services to Eastleigh and Southampton. Many services are subsidised by Hampshire County Council and community transport schemes are available in areas without a regular bus service.{{Citation needed|date=October 2015}} National Express coaches provide services mainly to Bournemouth, Poole, Portsmouth and London.Megabus also provide long-distance services.


Winchester railway station is served by South Western Railway trains from London Waterloo, Weymouth, Portsmouth and Southampton, as well as by CrossCountry between Bournemouth, and either Manchester or Newcastle via Birmingham. Historically it was also served by a line to London via Alton, which partially survives as the Watercress Line. The closure of this line removed an alternative route between London and Winchester when, due to engineering works or other reasons, the main line was temporarily unusable. There was a second station called Winchester Chesil served by the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway, this closed in the 1960s.NEWS, Winchester Bus & Train Travel Times, Hampshire County Council, 2011, This line provided a link to the Midlands and the North, bypassing the present longer route through Reading.

Law courts

Winchester Combined Court Centre consists of a crown court and county court. It is administered by Her Majesty's Courts Service, an Executive Agency of the Ministry of Justice. Winchester is a first-tier court centre and is visited by High Court judges for criminal and for civil cases (in the District Registry of the High Court). One of the most high-profile cases to be heard here was the Rose West murder trial in 1995.Winchester has a separate district probate registry, which is part of the High Court.WEB,weblink The Probate Service - Registries, Her Majesty's Courts Service, 10 October 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 6 June 2011, dead, dmy-all, This Court is separate from the main court establishment at the top of Winchester High Street and deals only with probate matters.There is a heavily populated Victorian prison, HMP Winchester, opposite the hospital, on the B3040 heading up west from the town centre.NEWS, Under-fire jail criticised again,weblink, 5 April 2005, 12 February 2009,

Media and culture

Since 1974 Winchester has hosted the annual Hat Fair, a celebration of street theatre that includes performances, workshops, and gatherings at several venues around the city.In 1974 a cycle of medieval mystery plays were staged in the grounds of Wolvesey Castle.{{citation needed|date=August 2014}}Winchester is the home of the award-winning Blue Apple Theatre, a company of actors.WEB,weblink Blue Apple Theatre Honored with Queen's Award for Voluntary Service 2012,, 23 June 2012, 26 October 2012, WEB,weblink Blue Apple Theatre to take Hamlet on the road (From Hampshire Chronicle),, 2 February 2012, 26 October 2012, Winchester hosts one of the UK's larger farmers' markets, with about 100 stalls. It is certified by FARMA.{{Citation needed|date=September 2015}} The market takes place on the second and last Sunday of the month in the city centre.Four newspapers are published for Winchester. The weekly paid-for Hampshire Chronicle, which started out in 1772 reporting national and international news, now concentrates on Winchester and the surrounding area. The Southern Daily Echo mostly concerns Southampton, but does also feature Winchester. It has an office shared with sister paper the Hampshire Chronicle. The Mid-Hants Observer is a free, weekly independent paper for Winchester and nearby villages. Its sister paper, the weekly Hampshire Independent, which covers the whole county, is also based in Winchester. The free Winchester News Extra closed in 2017.Winchester had its own radio station, Win FM, from October 1999 to October 2007.In October 2006, the Channel 4 television programme The Best And Worst Places To Live In The UK, the city was celebrated as the "Best Place in the UK to Live in: 2006". In the 2007 edition of the same programme, Winchester had slipped to second place, behind Edinburgh.{{citation needed|date=December 2017}}A number of public figures and celebrities were students at Peter Symonds College in Winchester, including TV presenter and model Alexa Chung, singer-songwriter and drummer Andy Burrows, glamour model Lucy Pinder, comedian Jack Dee, Magician Ben Hart and singer/actress Gina Beck. Harlequins rugby and England rugby player Joe Marchant. Actor Colin Firth is from Winchester and was educated at Montgomery of Alamein School (now Kings' School). The adventurer and model Laura Bingham was born and brought up in the local area attending The Westgate School. The singer-songwriter Frank Turner hails from Winchester, a fact that he often mentions at concerts as well as in his songs. The band Polly and the Billets Doux formed in Winchester, and are still based in the city. 2011 saw Winchester's first ever Oxjam Takeover music festival, held on 22 October.WEB, Oxjam in Winchester,weblink Oxjam, 18 June 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 2 November 2014, dead, dmy-all, In March 2016, Winchester was named as the best place to live in Britain by the "Sunday Times Best Places To Live" guide.WEB, Winchester named best place to live in Britain,weblink

Winchester in fiction


In the medieval narrative poem, Sir Orfeo, the main character Sir Orfeo is King of Winchester, which is said to be the modern name of Thrace. The final combat of the romance hero Guy of Warwick against the giant Colbrand takes place outside the walls of Winchester.The Late Middle Ages author Sir Thomas Malory identified Winchester as the mythical home of Camelot and King Arthur in Le Morte d'Arthur, his collection of medieval legends about the Arthurian myths. (Malory's editor William Caxton disputed this, insisting that Camelot must be in Wales).

19th century

A scene in Henry Esmond (1852) by William Makepeace Thackeray is set in the choir of Winchester cathedral. Winchester is in part the model for Barchester in the Barsetshire novels of Anthony Trollope, who attended Winchester College; The Warden (1855) is said to be based on a scandal at the Hospital of St Cross. A fictionalised Winchester appears as Wintoncester in Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891). Some of the action in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventure of the Copper Beeches (1892) takes place in the city—the Black Swan hotel mentioned in the story formerly stood at the end of Southgate St and is still acknowledged by a figure on the outside of the building.In Charles Kingsley's romantic history Hereward the Wake (1866), Hereward smashes his ash lance against the doors of the Westgate, Winchester showing by the strength of his arm that it is he. William the Conqueror is so impressed that he pardons him.

20th century

A fictitious estate near Winchester is the scene of a crime in the Sherlock Holmes adventure, The Problem of Thor Bridge (1922).In Gerry Anderson's 1967 and 1968 programme Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, background material published by, or with the approval of, Anderson identifies Winchester as the birthplace of the main character, Captain Scarlet, real name Paul Metcalfe.WEB, Captain Scarlet bio,weblink Aardman, 17 June 2014, Winchester is the main location of John Christopher's post-apocalyptic science fiction series, Sword of the Spirits. Winchester Cathedral is featured in James Herbert's horror novel The Fog. The Siege of Winchester in 1141, part of The Anarchy (a civil war) between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda, is an important plot element in the detective novel An Excellent Mystery, part of the Brother Cadfael chronicles by Edith Pargeter writing as Ellis Peters. In Philip Pullman's novel The Subtle Knife (part of the His Dark Materials trilogy) the main male protagonist, Will Parry, comes from Winchester. However, little of the book is set there.In the movie Merlin, King Uther's first conquest of Britain begins with Winchester, which Merlin foresaw would fall.In the novel The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett, which traces English historical events from 1123 C.E. to 1174 C.E., Winchester and its cathedral figure prominently in several chapters. The fictional town of Kingsbridge in the novel is based on Winchester, as Follett explained in the first episode of his Channel 4 2013 documentary series Ken Follett's Journey into the Dark Ages.NEWS,weblink Ken Follett's Journey into the Dark Ages, Channel 4, 2013, 1 March 2013, Accounts of wool merchants and their trading with sheep farmers in Winchester are related to the reader. The reign of Stephen is described and his military actions are recounted, including first-person "reporting" of the Battle of Lincoln on 2 February 1141.

21st century

In the Japanese manga Death Note, The Wammy's House, an orphanage founded by Quillish Wammy, where the detective L's successors (Mello, Near, and Matt) are raised, is located in Winchester.In the novel One Day by David Nicholls, the male protagonist Dexter Mayhew went to the public school Winchester College.WEB, David Nicholls One Day - overview,weblink, David Nicholls, 18 June 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 28 May 2014, dead, dmy-all, This is frequently referred to throughout the book, as well as mentioning St. Swithin's Day and the St. Swithin's weather myth.NEWS, David Nicholls, the man who made a nation cry,weblink 18 June 2014, The Guardian, 7 August 2011, Patrick Gale's 2009 book The Whole Day Through is set in Winchester. In S. M. Stirling's 2007 novel, The Sunrise Lands, it is revealed that the British capital has been moved to Winchester. Winchester is an important setting in The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell.Frank Turner (singer-songwriter) who was raised in the nearby village of Meonstoke (part of the City of Winchester district), wrote and performs the song "Wessex Boy" describing Winchester, and how it remains his home. He names the Cathedral, the Buttercross and Jewry Street in his homage to the city.

International relations

{{See also|List of twin towns and sister cities in the United Kingdom}}Winchester is twinned with:WEB,weblink Twin Towns in Hampshire,, 6 November 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 30 November 2009, dmy-all,
  • {{flagicon|FRA}} Laon, Aisne, Hauts-de-France, FranceWEB,weblink Home,, 6 November 2009, WEB,weblink British towns twinned with French towns, 11 July 2013, Archant Community Media Ltd,
The Winchester district is twinned with
  • {{flagicon|GER}} Gießen, Hesse, GermanyWEB,weblink Gießen: Städtepartnerschaften, Giessen: Twin towns, Stadt Gießen, 1 August 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 13 April 2013, German,
Winchester, Virginia, is named after the English city, whose Mayor has a standing invitation to be a part of the American city's Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. Winchester also gave its name (Frenchified to Bicêtre) to a suburb of Paris, from a manor built there by John of Pontoise, Bishop of Winchester, at the end of the 13th century. It is now the commune of Le Kremlin-Bicêtre.

See also

{{Geographic location|title = Nearest Settlements|Centre = Winchester|North = Abbotts BartonHeadbourne WorthyKings WorthyEaston, Hampshire>EastonMartyr Worthy|East = ChilcombOwsleburyTwyford, Hampshire>Twyford|South = Compton and Shawford Olivers BatteryHursley>Pitt, HursleySparsholt, Hampshire>SparsholtAshleyKing's Somborne|Northwest = Littleton and Harestock}}



External links

{{Commons category|Winchester}}{{Wikivoyage|Winchester (England)}} {{Winchester}}{{Hampshire}}{{Use dmy dates|date=December 2017}}{{Authority control}}

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