Winchester Hat Fair
The Hat Fair is an annual event with highlights local performance groups. In 2003 it ran from July 2-7. 2004 will be their 30th anniversary. While we were there we saw a very interesting acrobatic group which performed with some local students.
The man who single-handedly saved the Cathedral, so George V said.
In 1906 Walker and another diver were employed to underpin the cathedral foundations. this entailed working in nil visibility, in water, for years....the other diver left after a year, but Walker continued for five and a half years. His job was to remove the remains of the Medieval foundations and replace them with concrete (all underwater). And he did it.
Walker was honoured by the King for his work. He died in the flu epidemic of 1918, but there is a bust in his honour in the Cathedral (although I could not find it, so perhaps it is being restored?) and another by the gift shop (see photo).
It would be easy to miss Walker's efforts; it would certainly be easy to underestimate them.
Cheyney Court, Winchester
Part of the Cathedral Close, Cheyney Court was built in the mid-15th century. Adjoining St Swithun's Gate and what would have been the entrance to the demolished Abbey, it was the seat of the Bishop's secular power in the city and the place where the 'Soke' (his area of private jurisdiction) was decided.
Incredibly, such practice by a clergyman (although a high-ranking one) continued until 1835.
Kings' Mortuary Chests
Winchester Cathedral is where the early Kings of England were buried. Today the remains of six kings, one queen and two bishops are kept in mortuary chests displayed inside the cathedral. They are:
King Cynegils 611-643, King Cenwalh 643-672, King Egbert 802-839, King Ethelwulf 839-858, King Canute 1016-1035 and Queen Emma, Bishop Alwyn 1032-1047, Bishop Stigand 1047-1070 and King William II (Rufus) 1087-1100.
The mortuary chests, which are essentially decorated wooden coffins, stand on top of the screen around the choir in the chancel. Both the screen and the chests date back to 1525. Originally, these remains were in the graveyard, probably surrounding the grave of St Swithun. They were moved to the mortuary chests later. Although each chest is marked with the name of a king, bishop or queen, the bones themselves became jumbled in 1642 during the Civil War and have been probably been distributed randomly.
Winchester College is one of England's oldest (possibly THE oldest) continuously running schools. It was founded in 1382 and to this day, it remains one of the best-known public schools in the country. It is for boys only, and although it started out with only 70 pupils, there are now about 700 boys attending the college every year.
Guided tours are available and include a visit of the 14th century gothic chapel, which is one of the college's original buildings, the original scholars' dining room, the chamber court, the main hall, and the medieval cloister. Tours last about an hour and cost £3.50. On Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, tours run at 10:45 am, 12:00 pm, 2:15 pm and 3:30 pm. The two morning tours run on Tuesday and Thursday, and the two afternoon tours run on Sundays. A great way to find out more about the college's architecture, history, and special quirks and traditions!