Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The City of Winchester

Winchester. The ancient and one time capital of England. In Saxon times King Alfred the Great settled here and the myths and legends that surround him live on today. A statue in his honour faces straight up the high street, sword held high. His fabled round table is still here for all to see (or is it?)

Winchesters' grandest building, the cathedral, dominates the centre of the city. Started in 1079 it boasts the longest nave in the country. Oliver Cromwell is said to have charged down it on his horse.

Another grand building is the Wykeham Arms public house! Built just outside the close, it's been involved with the Cathedral since 1755. So popular was it's last landlord that a thousand people are said to have attended his funeral in the Cathedral.

Wolvesey Castle and palace has been home to the Bishops of Winchester for centuries. The most famous of all was Saint Swythan . When he died it rained for forty days, and even today we expect another thirty nine days of rain if it we get a soaking on July the fifteenth!

If you are visiting London, it's worth spending an hour or so on the train to visit this fascinating city.

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