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Pictures of Winchester Cathedral

a Historic Building in the town of Winchester, in the county of Hampshire

About Winchester Cathedral

From the moment you cross the wide sweeping lawns surrounding Winchesters' historic cathedral you become immediately enthralled by its sheer size and grace. At 556 feet, it is the longest cathedral in Europe. Once inside, the beauty of the cathedral is overwhelming, with many remarkable features of early Norman architecture. The building was begun in 1079, and interestingly, at its west end it overlaps an earlier Saxon church in the immediate vicinity of the cathedral.

The most complete remains of the early work is to be seen in the transepts. Here there are remarkable arches with heavy plain mouldings and capitals left undecorated. Splashes of colour come from bright banners, glorious stained glass and medieval wall paintings. There is a fine set of early 14th century misericords, monuments from all periods and the imposing square black Tournai Norman font, decorated with carvings depicting the life of Saint Nicholas. There are many other notable treasures, including in the cathedral library, a 10th century copy of Bede's history, a 13th century illuminated Bible and the first American Bible.

An area of quiet tranquillity is the Retrochoir, found behind the Quire. This has magnificent medieval tiles surviving from the 13th century and leads into the beautiful Lady Chapel whose walls are decorated with 15th century images of the Blessed Virgin to whom the chapel is dedicated.

There is an intricate great screen filled with superb statutory and the fan vaulting is amongst the finest of its kind.

The cathedral close focus's upon the Deanery. This has a wonderful 13th century porch and a reconstructed Prior's Hall of the mid 15th century, although this is now greatly altered. A charming Visitors Centre can be found in the close, this occupies one half of what was once the cathedral's 13th century guest house. The other half of the building is restored back to its original state, and now forms a beautiful "Pilgrims Hall" showing the earliest surviving hammer-beam roof. Many other interesting buildings remain to be seen, some from Tudor times including what was once the bishop's courthouse with its lovely jettied windows and springtime foliage.

Filled as it is with a rich array of historic buildings, Winchesters' cathedral close is a lovely area to explore. It's historic beauty is particularly enhanced by the cathedrals' great peal of bells, it is then that you really feel in awe of its wonder, mystique and mystery.

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Please upload your photos of Winchester Cathedral or see below for towns & villages near Winchester Cathedral and a list of other nearby attractions to visit.

Recommended towns & villages near Winchester Cathedral

Bronze plaque by Jane Austen's tomb.

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Complete A to Z of towns in England

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Complete A to Z of attractions in England