Winchester Cathedral

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Winchester, England

Winchester Cathedral Reviews

joseph98 joseph98
103 reviews
One of Britain's finest Cathedrals Feb 23, 2014
The UK isn't short on visually stunning, spiritually fulfilling places of worship. This Cathedral, situated in the pretty Southern town of Winchester, one of England's oldest established settlements and former capital of the country (as determined by Alfred the Great ranks among the very best, and is the undoubted highlight of the town.

Admittedly not the finest looking building on the outside, the Cathedral really comes to life when you venture in. The entrance fee - £7.50 at the time of writing - may be off putting for some, but it's cheaper than many of Britain's other Cathedrals, and the ticket is valid for 12 months' worth of revisits from the day of purchase.

The interior is simply breathtaking. Dating back approximately 1000 years, the Cathedral is steeped in History, and there's a fascinating mix of things to from more or less every era from English History, ranging from 12th Century Bible manuscripts to the grave of Jane Austen, one of the world's most beloved authors. All that and you get one of the longest medieval naves in all of Europe.

The town itself is well worth a visit too, with its Tudor architecture, winding river and statue of Alfred the Great, which dominates the high street.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Vikram Vikram
247 reviews
It's your average Cathedral "looks"wise, but does hold a lot of historical significance for book lovers! Oct 28, 2012
You'd be surprised... a Cathedral and paid? Well, the Winchester Cathedral is! About 6 quid, although the day I went, it was free. I was told I could make a donation if I wanted to, so I did.

I'll let you read the objective details on the Wiki link:

As for my experience, it’s really nothing to write home about – I think the ones I’ve seen in Salisbury, York, etc. are a lot more majestic. I know it's not fair comparing Cathedrals (kind of like saying your baby looks better than your neighbour's or your colleague's?) but as a tourist, it's only natural to have some kind of benchmark in your mind. And especially this trip after having seen some amazing SOLID GOLD Cathedrals in Spain, this one was a bit, erm, sparse.

Having said that, this has more significance as it’s where Jane Austin is buried, along with a history about her. There’s a nice map inside – entry was free today (normally it’s 6 quid) so I donated about 5 quid and walked around. I did take a few pictures, but none really that stood out.

After about 30 mins, left to the café – treated myself to a nice Victorian sandwich cake (lovely modern café), spent another good 30 mins there reading the local newspapers and watching families stopping by for a nice Sunday lunch. That's the thing I love most about Britain - I love seeing families eating out at the quaint cafes next to Cathedrals and museums.

Overall, do visit the place if you're into the "day sightseeing from London" kind of trips, but compared to the other majestic Minsters/Cathedrals I've seen in York and Bath, I'm suddenly not feeling guilty that I didn't visit Winchester earlier!
Jane Austen's grave
The West facade
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
HelenP says:
Vikram, have you been to Canterbury cathedral? Is where Thomas Becket was martyred. Or Coventry cathedral.. it is very modern and caused quite a stir when it opened.
Helen P
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012
sarahelaine sarahela…
648 reviews
Winchester Cathedral Feb 21, 2009
Winchester Cathedral is a Norman Cathedral in the South of England. It is close to the M3 at Southampton, and well worth a short trip.

The cathedral itself is not that impressive from teh outside, with a short tower and pleasant surroundings. Inside, however, it is much more interesting. Some of the original normal ceilings have survived, which are painted red wood, and the later perpindicular vaulting is fantastic. The alter and rood screen are incredibly ornate, and there are some lovely side chapels with modern religious art in them that are really interesting. In one of the chantries, there are surviving 12th century ceiling paintings which are very beautiful; goodness only knows how they survuved but they are definately worth a look.

The cathedral is famous as the grave of Jane Austen, the famous English author and inventor or Mr Darcy. It is also known for the 12th century bible in the library. Unfortunately, this was closed the day I went.

In the crypt is a sculpture of a man by Anthony Gormley, more famous for the Angel of the North at Gateshead. The man is reading a book ankle deep in the floods in the crypt, and the sense of piece from the cool crypt and the statue is incredible.

Admission is £5 for adults, but that will also cover a year long pass if you are a UK tax payer. $4 for concessions. You could easily see most of the cathedral if you were on crutches, although I would be less sure if you would be able to go to the treasury or the library. Wheelchair users could access most of the main cathedral, and I think I saw a stair lift to get to the alter, but I think they might struggle with the crypt.

There are tours of the tower, but they weren't on on the day I went.
The Anthony Gormley statue
The Alter

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