Winchester (archaically known as Winton and Wintonceastre) is a historic cathedral city and former capital city of England. It is the county town of Hampshire, in Southern England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs, along the course of the River Itchen.
The novelist Jane Austen died in Winchester on 18 July 1817 and is buried in the cathedral. The Romantic poet John Keats stayed in Winchester from mid-August to October 1819. It was in Winchester that Keats wrote "Isabella", "St. Agnes' Eve", "To Autumn" and "Lamia". Parts of "Hyperion" and the five-act poetic tragedy "Otho The Great" were also written in Winchester.
|The Great Hall In Winchester Castle|
- Winchester Cathedral, the longest cathedral in Europe, was originally built in 1079. It contains much fine architecture spanning the 11th to the 16th century 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, as well as Jane Austen. It was once an important pilgrimage centre and housed the shrine of Saint Swithun. The ancient Pilgrims' Way travelling to Canterbury begins at Winchester. The plan of the earlier Old Minster is laid out in the grass adjoining the cathedral. The New Minster (original burial place of Alfred the Great and Edward the Elder) once stood beside it. It has a girls choir and a boys choir, which sing on a regular basis at the cathedral.
- Winchester Castle is a medieval building in Hampshire. It was founded in 1067. Only the Great Hall still stands; it houses a museum of the history of Winchester. Between 1222–1235, Henry III (who was born at Winchester Castle) added the Great Hall, built to a "double cube" design, measuring 110 ft by 55 ft by 55 ft (approx. 33.5m by 16.8m by 16.8m). The Great Hall is built of flint with stone dressings; originally it had lower walls and a roof with dormer windows. In their place were added the tall two-light windows with early plate tracery. Extensions to the castle were made by Edward II. In 1873 the roof of the Great Hall was completely replaced. An imitation Arthurian Round Table hangs in the Great Hall. The table was originally constructed in the 13th century, and repainted in its present form for Henry VIII; around the edge of the table are the names of King Arthur's knights. Behind the Great Hall is a re-creation of a medieval garden called Queen Eleanor's Garden.
- The Winchester City Mill is a restored water mill situated on the River Itchen in the centre of the ancient city. The mill is owned by the National Trust. The mill was first recorded, milling corn, in the Domesday Book of 1086. The mill was last rebuilt in 1744 and remained in use until the early 1900s. The mill was then used as a laundry until 1928 when it was offered for sale. In order to prevent its demolition, a group of benefactors bought the mill and presented it to the National Trust. In 1932 the mill was leased to the Youth Hostels Association for use as a hostel, a usage that continued until recently. In 2004, a 12 year restoration program came to a successful conclusion, and after a hiatus of at least 90 years the mill again milled flour by water power. The water mill can be seen working daily during the summer months. The mill building also houses a National Trust shop.
- 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 of London. Local items featured include the Roman 'Venta' gallery, and some genuine period shop interiors taken from the nearby High Street.
- The Buttercross has been dated to the 15th century, and features 12 statues of the Virgin Mary, 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" 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. The Buttercross itself was restored by G. G. Scott in 1865, and still stands in the High Street. It is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument.