The Winchester Walk
We start our 2 hours walk at the Tourist Information Center in the Guildhall (there is an Art Gallery here). Turn right towards King Alfred’s monument. The High Street started life as a routeway some 2,500 years ago leading to a crossing point to the River Itchen. It was the main thoroughfare for Roman, Saxon, and medieval Winchester and lays claim to be the oldest street in any English city.
The City Bridge is said to have been built by St. Swithun, the 9th century Bishop and patron saint of the city. The current structure was built in 1813. Turn right and follow the river walk. To your right is a surviving remnant of the original Roman Town Walls. The River Itchen provided part of the eastern defences by forming a moat. It also provided power for 12 mills. Continue to Wharf Mill, which is on the site of a medieval mill. Turn right to see the best-preserved part of the medieval City Walls. Continue to the ruins of the Wolvesey Castle.
Opposite is Winchester College, founded in 1382. It is the oldest public school in England. Cross College Street and continue to the main College gate and past Headmaster house. The next building is where Jane Austin spent her final weeks. At the end of College Street turn right to face Kingsgate. Continuing through the gateway, you come to the Close Wall built in Saxon times to separate the monastic communities from the rest of the town. Turn right and go through Prior’s Gate. On your right is the medieval Cheyney Court, where bishops met to hear legal cases involving the area they controlled. Heading towards the Cathedral, note the blocked arches in the wall on your right. They provided the entry to the medieval monk’s dormitory.
From the Cathedral, walk towards the High Street. Just ahead is the Butter Cross, on this site since early 14th century. The Town Clock and the statue of Queen Anne were presented to the City in 1713. Continue up the High Street, straight ahead is the Westgate; here turn left up to the Great Hall.
- Family Travel
Jane Austin House
This house on College street, a few steps away from the Kingsgate, is the place where Jane Austin lived the last 6 weeks of her life and died on 18th July 1817. Famous English writer is buried in the Cathedral.
- Family Travel
Walking to St. Giles Hill
It is a bit of a climb to St. Giles hill but the views over the city are very good. Nearby is the romantic sounding Sunset Walk.
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