One highlight of the Cathedral is the Triforium Gallery which houses the Shaftesbury Bowl; a stunning example of late Saxon glass in England. The Gallery is also home to the Winchester Bible, this beautifully illustrated handwritten and hand-coloured manuscript was commissioned in 1160 and is still breathtaking in its beauty today. The Bible can be viewed as part of the Kings and Scribes exhibition.
Winchester Cathedral has been attracting pilgrims for 900 years and contains hidden treasures including Anthony Gormley's Sound II, the Winchester Bible and Jane Austen's tomb. The cathedral is known for being one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe, as well as having the longest medieval nave in Europe. This stunning building can be held up as a example of many styles from the Norman transepts through to the East End's Perpendicular Gothic work, with a nod to the Renaissance with the Chantry chapels.
Winchester Cathedral has a very strong connection to the novelist Jane Austen. Not only was her funeral held at the Cathedral in 1817 but she is also buried on the North Aisle. The Cathedral has a brass tablet to commemorate her burial site and there is also a memorial window in her honour.
The patron saint of the Cathedral is St Swithun, who was an Anglo-Saxon bishop in the ninth century. St Swithun's importance as a bishop however has been overshadowed by the legendary tales of the numerous miracles that were said to have been caused by his posthumous move from his humble grave to the new church at Winchester over a century after his death. Legend also states that St Swithun was so upset by the move from his humble resting place to the Cathedral that rain then ensued for forty days. This has since translated into the legend that if it rains on St Swithun's Day on 15th July we could then be in store for another 40 days of rain.
The Priory of St Swithun was dissolved during the Reformation, there are however still links to the Cathedral's patron saint still today. One of these being St Swithun's Way which was opened in 2002 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee. The Cathedral marks the start of the 34 mile long distance footpath.
The Cathedral has many links to popular culture too. The Cathedral has been a backdrop for films and television including The Da Vinci Code as well as being used on numerous occasions on The Crown where is has doubled as both Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral. The Cathedral is a must see as part of any tour of Winchester.
Visit the ancient monument of Stonehenge and the cathedral city of Winchester on a chauffeur-driven day tour from London with an experienced guide.
Chauffeur Driven Car
Cathedrals & Stonehenge Tour
Visit the historic cathedrals at Winchester & Salisbury, and the ancient monument of Stonehenge on a chauffeur-driven day tour from London with an experienced guide.
Chauffeur Driven Car