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Historic England Research Records

Winchester Cathedral

Hob Uid: 230963
Location :
Hampshire
Winchester
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : SU4823029260
Summary : Winchester Cathedral was the central shrine of Wessex and of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom. The first church was built circa 675 when, after the death of Birinus, his "cathedra" was moved from Dorchester, Oxfordshire to Winchester. Here the King built a church in honour of the Holy Trinity and SS Peter and Paul which was served by canons. Destroyed by the Danes, it was rebuilt by Ethelwold who substitued Benedictine monks for the earlier canons. It is thought that its monastic church stood to the north of the present cathedral, which replaced it after it had continued in use for a little more than a century. The present church was begun in 1079 by Walkelin, the first Norman bishop, and was probably finished by Bishop Henry of Blois (d. 1171). Walkelin's church compised a chancel, nave and transepts with a tower in the centre and one at the west end. A large presbytery was raised on a vaulted undercroft. The great central tower fell 15 years after it first building and was rebuilt later. Bishop Godfrey Lucy (1189-1204) took down the small Norman chapel at the east end and built was is now the retro-choir. It is ended towards the east by three chapels which include the Lady Chapel and the Guardian Angel's Chapel. The eastern chapels were altered in the 15th century. The third great building period at Winchester begins about 1315 with the first thing to be rebuilt being the presbytery (1315-1360). The remodelling of the nave is associated with two men: Bishops William Edington (1346-66) and William of Wykeham (1367-1404). Amongst other works, this involved the Perpendicular recasing of the Norman nave. After the completion of the nave several important works were done at the eastern side of the church including large traceried windows and a vault over the Lady Chapel. At the time of the Reformation (1539) the shrines, side altars, and a great number of works of art were destroyed. Between 1905 and 1912 a large part of the building was underpinned.
More information : (SU 48232926) CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY TRINITY (NAT)
(SU 48212919) Deanery (NAT)
(SU 48122923) St. Swithun's Priory (N.R.) (Remains of)
(SU 48182923) Cloisters (N.R.) (Site of)
(SU 48192917) Prior's House (N.R.) (Remains of)
(SU 48242910) Hall (N.R.) (Remains of)
(SU 48162908) Prior or Close Gate (N.R.)
(SU 48072926) Mound (N.R.)
(Name centred SU 48032925: SU 48232905: SU 48372912)
Close Wall (N.R.) (Thrice). (1)

Winchester Cathedral Priory (Benedictine) founded c.604, 964 (but according to legend there were many foundations here, the earlier being c.169) Dissolved 1539. The Monastic Cathedral became a secular Cathedral in 1542.

The complicated history and relationship of the various Saxon minsters and the subsequent Norman Cathedral is only now being elucidated by excavation. Briefly we have a prior of Benedictive monks, whose Cathedral became best known as the 'Old Minster' when King Alfred founded a further priory on an adjoining site, known as St. Grimbalds' Abbey or the 'Newminster' The Old Minster occupied a site immediately to the N of, and partly underlying, the nave of the present cathedral. It was demolished in 1093, fifteen years after Walkelin, the first Norman bishop commenced the present cathedral. The 'Newminster' lay to the N of the Old Minster so close it was possible to walk between the two and touch both. It was demolished when the 'NewMinster' moved the Hyde in 1110 (and became known as Hyde Abbey).

The layout of the Saxon priory is not known. The Norman priory lay on the S. side of the Cathedral but little of it remains, notably the Chapter House and Priors Lodge, part of the kitchen range and the close wall.

The original dedication of the Cathedral was to St. Peter and Paul but it came to be known as St. Swithuns' after an additional dedication c.971. The dedication to the Holy Trinity seems to have followed the post-dissolution refounding as a Secular Cathedral. For a recent summary of documentary evidence on these priories see Biddle & Quirk pp 173-182. For details of surviving remains and plans based on Atkinson & Biddle see map diagram. (2)

Excavations were carried out until 1969 on the site of the Old Minster. The complete plan and construction sequence have now been recovered. The first church was probably built by Kenwalh, King of Wessex 643-72. The original building was gradually added to, and was largely rebuilt by Ethelwold in about 971-80. The excavations also located a monumental shrine to St. Swithun, although his original burial place was outside the west door of the Minster.

After the demolition of the Old Minster, the shrine was house in a chapel dedicated to St. Swithun, erected outside the north door of the cathedral nave, probably in the 12th century.

In 1970, excavations were carried out on "Building E", first excavated by Dean Kitchen in 1886. It was found to be the south range of a monastic complex of at least seven phases associated with New Minster and in use until 1110 when the foundation moved to Hyde Abbey (see SU 42 NE 27).
See map diagram. (3-7)

Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, Grade A; Close Boundary Walls and Gates, Grade 1; No 1 The Close, Grade 1; The Deanery incorporating Prior's Hall, Grade 1; No 4 The Close (The Judge's Lodging), Grade 1: Nos. 5-11, The Close,
Grade 1. (8)

The Cathedral, Close Walls and Gates, and buildings listed by DOE (HHR) remain as stated and all are in good condition, see GPs. (9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1962
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Source Number : 1a
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1966
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Source Number : 10
Source : Winchester Cathedral : nine hundred years 1093-1993
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Source Number : 11
Source : Winchester Cathedral : a short history for visitors
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Source Number : 12
Source : The historical medallions in the Winchester Cathedral embroideries
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Source Number : 13
Source : A boss from the Winchester cathedral choir-stalls at the Victoria and Albert Museum
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Vol(s) : Vol 44
Source Number : 14
Source : Sculptural discoveries at Winchester cathedral
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Vol(s) : Vol 46
Source Number : 15
Source : The retro-choir of Winchester Cathedral
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Source Number : 16
Source : Medieval art and architecture at Winchester Cathedral
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Vol(s) : 6 for 1980
Source Number : 17
Source : The retrochoir of Winchester Cathedral: a new interpretation
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Source Number : 18
Source : Sculptural discoveries at Winchester Cathedral
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Source Number : 19
Source : The transepts of Winchester Cathedral: archaeological evidence, problems of design, and sequence of construction
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Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval religious houses : England and Wales
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Page(s) : 81, 347
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Source Number : 20
Source : The retrochoir of Winchester Cathedral: evidence and interpretation
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Source Number : 21
Source : The restoration of Winchester Cathedral by Thomas G Jackson, 1905-12
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Source Number : 22
Source : The Romanesque east arm and crypt of Winchester Cathedral
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Source Number : 23
Source : The Romanesque facade of Winchester cathedral: part 1
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Source Number : 24
Source : Conserving medieval wall-paintings in Winchester Cathedral
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Source Number : 3
Source : The Antiquaries journal : journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London
Source details : M Biddle
Page(s) : 266-272
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Vol(s) : 47, 1967
Source Number : 4
Source : Excavations at Winchester 1967: sixth interim report
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Source Number : 5
Source : Excavations at Winchester [Hampshire] 1968
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Source Number : 6
Source : Excavations at Winchester, 1969: eighth interim report
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Source Number : 7
Source : Excavations at Winchester, 1970: ninth interim report [Roman to post-medieval occupation]
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Source Number : 8
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Winchester, 14-JAN-1974
Page(s) : 17-25
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Source Number : 9
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JGB 13-DEC-82
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built 1079-1171
Monument End Date : 1171
Monument Start Date : 1079
Monument Type : Benedictine Monastery, Cathedral
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1189-1204
Monument End Date : 1204
Monument Start Date : 1189
Monument Type : Cathedral
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1315-60
Monument End Date : 1360
Monument Start Date : 1315
Monument Type : Cathedral
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1346-1366
Monument End Date : 1366
Monument Start Date : 1346
Monument Type : Cathedral
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1367-1404
Monument End Date : 1404
Monument Start Date : 1367
Monument Type : Cathedral
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered C15
Monument End Date : 1499
Monument Start Date : 1400
Monument Type : Cathedral
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Dissolved in 1539
Monument End Date : 1539
Monument Start Date : 1539
Monument Type : Benedictine Monastery
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Became secular in 1542
Monument End Date : 1542
Monument Start Date : 1542
Monument Type : Cathedral
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Repaired and restored 1905-12
Monument End Date : 1912
Monument Start Date : 1905
Monument Type : Cathedral
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 97424
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 144495
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1095509
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 42 NE 131
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 231058
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 226928
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 230954
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, 'THE HOLY HOLE', WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1789-01-01
End Date : 1789-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1797-01-01
End Date : 1797-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1868-01-01
End Date : 1868-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1870-01-01
End Date : 1870-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL YARD
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1885-01-01
End Date : 1885-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1885-01-01
End Date : 1885-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1911-01-01
End Date : 1911-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CATHEDRAL GREEN
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1962-01-01
End Date : 1970-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CATHEDRAL PRESBYTERY, NORTH AISLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1969-01-01
End Date : 1969-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL, CHOIR STALLS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1970-01-01
End Date : 1979-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1980-01-01
End Date : 1980-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SOUTH AISLE, WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1980-01-01
End Date : 1980-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CATHEDRAL CLOSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1982-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CHAPTER HOUSE, CATHEDRAL CLOSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1982-01-01
End Date : 1982-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 42 NE 130
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1982-12-13
End Date : 1982-12-13
Associated Activities : Primary, SOUTH TRANSEPT OF WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1984-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, 11 THE CLOSE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1990-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CATHEDRAL CRYPT
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, DEAN GARNIER'S GARDEN
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CATHEDRAL GREEN TREE HOLES
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, INVESTIGATION BY RCHME/EH ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-11-14
End Date : 1995-11-14
Associated Activities : Primary, CATHEDRAL GREEN, PARADISE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, PARADISE, CATHEDRAL GREEN/NEW SUBSTATION, OUTER CLOSE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, PILGRIM'S SCHOOL, CATHEDRAL CLOSE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL (WEST FRONT)
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LIGHT ART PROJECT, OUTER CATHEDRAL CLOSE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CATHEDRAL CLOSE: OUTER CLOSE PAVING RENEWAL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL: UPLIGHTING
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL: DRY RISER
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL CLOSE
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31