Winchester  Hampshire


In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Winchester like this:

Winchester, parl. and mun. bor. and city, Hants, on river Itchin, 12 miles NE. of Southampton and 06 SW. of London by rail, 1032 ac., pop. 17,780; 4 Banks, 3 newspapers. Market-day, Wednesday. Winchester was the Caer Gwent of the Britons, the Venta Belgarum of the Romans, and the Wintanceaster of the Saxons, under whom it became the capital of England; it was frequently the meeting-place of parliaments until the time of Henry VII., but its prosperity was greatly injured, first by the removal of the Court to London, and afterwards, on the dissolution of the monasteries, by the demolition of many of its religious establishments. ...

The diocese of Winchester dates from the 7th century. The cathedral was first completed in 648, but the present structure, one of the largest and in the interior one of the most magnificent in England, was built 1079-93. Other objects of interest are St Mary's College, a famous public school, founded by William of Wykeham in 1387; the hospital of St Cross, founded by Bishop de Blois in 1132; the old castle hall, which has been restored, and the new assize courts adjoining; and Wren's unfinished royal palace (1683), now used for infantry barracks. Winchester was at one time an important seat of the woollen trade. It was constituted a guild under royal protection in the 9th century (100 years earlier than any other on record), and received its first regular charter of incorporation from Henry II. in 1184. It returns 1 member to Parliament; it returned 2 members from Edward I. until 1885.

Winchester through time

Click here for graphs and data of how Winchester has changed over two centuries. For statistics for historical units named after Winchester go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Winchester in Hampshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 12th July 2024

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