28 February 2011

St Lawrence

It's hard to get a photo of this tiny church because its entrance is within the passageway leading to The Square and I just can't stand back far enough to get it all in! 

This is the church of St Lawrence-in-the-Square and there has been a church on this site since before the Norman conquest (1066). The original church on this site was incorporated into William the Conqueror’s palace as the royal chapel. The royal chapel was destroyed by fire in 1143, rebuilt in 1150 and again in 1449. Another fire in 1978 led to further restoration and the church reopened in 1980.

The church is in the heart of Winchester and has a very special tradition.When a new Bishop of Winchester is on his way to his enthronement in the Cathedral, he first comes to this tiny church to pray and put on his robes. He then tolls one of the bells ringing himself into office, and then goes out to meet the Mayor, clergy and citizens and proceeds to the cathedral. There should be a new Bishop this year...

27 February 2011

Peter Symonds College

I have posted previously about Peter Symonds here. And here is the 6th form college named after him. It is for 16-19 year olds studying A Levels. It is an excellent establishment, free, non selective and produces some of the best results in the country. This year 55 students are off to Oxford and Cambridge, which the college is quite rightly proud of.

The college was founded as a boys grammar school in 1897 and became the co-educational college that it is today in 1974. Notable ex pupils include Jack Dee (comedian), members of Coldplay and Razorlight, various ambassadors, MPs, judges, Air Chief Marshalls and Colin Firth's brother!

***update 2 March 2011 ***
I have had it confirmed that Colin Firth (our local Oscar winner!) also attended Peter Symonds!

26 February 2011


Within the Great Hall are these 2 large stainless steel gates which were designed and made by Antony Robinson as a gift from the people of Hampshire to commemorate the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981. I wonder what we'll get Prince William & Kate Middleton for their wedding in April?

25 February 2011

Ginger Two for Tea

In St Thomas's Street is the cafe Ginger Two for Tea, which serves a very decent cup of tea. As an avid tea drinker I really cannot abide tea from coffee shops which just never tastes right. However tea from a cafe with 'Tea' in the name is bound to be good (can't comment on their coffee though!). It's very cosy in here as you can see from the steamed up windows. They serve food too, lovely cakes, biscuits and sandwiches using a lot of local produce. They allow well behaved dogs to come in, which unfortunately precludes ours!

Our Jack Russell - Billy

24 February 2011


Once again a photo of another service in Winchester that was closed and turned into a housing estate - although this originally used the be the Workhouse, so I can't really say we miss it!

The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 led to the building of a large number of workhouses as the law meant that no able-bodied person could get poor relief unless they went to live in a workhouse. The Winchester Union workhouse was built in 1836, an infirmary was later added and in 1912 a large nurses' home was erected at the south of the workhouse. In 1930 the workhouse finally closed and the hospital became known as St Paul's Hospital after the nearby church. 
The hospital closed in 1998 and was converted into houses and apartments, incorporating some of the original buildings. The tall chimney, the only one remaining in Winchester, was retained and is a well-known landmark. Below is a photo of the original workhouse.

23 February 2011

F is for Fire Station

The 'F' has already fallen off as you can see and there's no need to replace it as today is the day the fire brigade leave Winchester. The building has been sold and will be developed into luxury apartments/houses. The fire brigade now has a new fire station on the outskirts of town. It seems that eventually all services occupying buildings in the centre of Winchester are moved out of town and their buildings sold off to be converted into housing. The military left their barracks some years ago (see here). We still have a hospital, police station and prison - they would make such lovely apartments...!

For more 'F' posts see ABC Wednesday

22 February 2011

Members of parliament

The far wall of the Great Hall is covered in a list of all Hampshire's members of parliament from the reign of  Edward I 1283 up to Queen Victoria 1868.

A random choice here from 1852.

21 February 2011

Christ's Hospital

This is Christ's Hospital in Symonds Street which was founded by Peter Symonds, a very well known name in Winchester. The plaque on the wall says:

Peter Symonds was a wealthy merchant who founded a number of almshouses for the poor and is well remembered in Winchester. In addition to having a street named after him (Symonds Street) there is also a Peter Symonds College, an excellent 6th form college in Winchester and every year, on St Peter's Day, 29th June, an Evensong is held in Winchester Cathedral in his honour.

These 'almshouses' are now administered by the St Johns Winchester Charity who have a number of other buildings throughout Winchester that have featured on the blog. This one still provides five rooms for single people, widows and widowers over 50 and there are currently four women and one man in residence here.

20 February 2011

Winchester 10K

The Winchester 10K road race took place this morning from the North Walls Recreation Ground. Here's a photo of some of the entrants, I particularly like the guy in the Mr Lazy t-shirt!

19 February 2011


Currently the nave of the cathedral is clear of pews, so it really is standing room only for the next 10 days until they return! Click here to see here's how it normally looks.

18 February 2011

P & G Wells

P and G Wells is an independent bookshop in College Street and has been trading for the last 130 years, although the origins of the business can be traced back to earlier than this. It has been book supplier to Winchester College for over 200 years. Unusually the bookshop also has its own book bindery, with a long tradition of top quality book binding and repair work. The first floor of the shop is given over to the widest range of children's books in the region.

17 February 2011

The Great Screen

As mentioned in yesterday's post Winchester Cathedral suffered damage during the English Civil War and here is another part of it that had to be replaced - The Great Screen. It was originally erected with the aid of funds left by Cardinal Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester. Work began in 1455 and continued for the next twenty years.

Unfortunately the originals were all destroyed by Oliver Cromwell's soldiers during the English Civil War in the 17th Century and the present figures are 19th century replacements - hence the screen includes Queen Victoria. The screen contains figures of 4 archangels, 28 Saints, 13 Bishops of Winchester, 6 King, 3 Queens, and 3 others with links to Winchester.

16 February 2011

E is for English Civil War

The English Civil War (1641-1651) brought destruction to Winchester, with the city initally supporting the King (Charles I). Winchester Cathedral did not remain unscathed. Within the Cathedral are 6 wooden mortuary chests which contain the remains of some of the earliest Saxon Kings. They are the oldest royal bones in England. Names that you might recognise include King Canute who tried to hold back the sea, King Ethelwulf father of Alfred the Great and the oldest of all King Cynegils (reigned from 611-43) the 1st Christian King of Wessex.

Unfortunately no-one knows who is in which chest as in 1642 during the English Civil War Oliver Cromwell's soldiers broke open the chests and scattered the bones on the cathedral floor. They then used the bigger bones to smash the stained glass windows of the cathedral. The bones were later (around 1661) returned to the chests.

For more 'E' Photos go to ABC Wednesday

15 February 2011

The Square

This is The Square in Winchester which is a small pedestrianised area with shops and restaurants. These hardy people were sitting outside having a drink or meal. In the background is St Lawrence in the Square Church.

14 February 2011

Town Clock

This clock was presented to the city after a royal visit by Queen Anne in 1713. Yesterday's post focused on Queen Anne's statue next to it. The building the clock it is attached to was the Guildhall at the time, but it is now a bank and the current Guildhall can be seen here. The clock was taken down to be refurbished last year and was only but back up in December.

13 February 2011

Queen Anne

This is a statue of Queen Anne who reigned from 1702 to 1714 which now sits on top of a bank in the High Street. It was put here after her visit to Winchester in 1705 accompanied by her husband and consort Prince George of Denmark. The Latin inscription near the statue means Queen Anne in the Year of Peace 1713 referring to the signing of the Peace of Utrecht.

The 3 previous monarchs James II, William and Mary had ignored Winchester completely and Charles II's proposed palace at the top of the hill was languishing in an unfinished state. Much to the people's joy Queen Anne decided that she would go ahead with Charles II's palace and present it to Prince George for his future dwelling. At last Winchester seemed to have a royal future again! Unfortunately by 1714 Queen Anne had died and Prince George died even earlier so this statue is a sad farewell to hopes that Winchester might regain its former glory. With the passing of Anne no monarch ever showed an interest in Charles' great scheme and Charles's Palace later became Peninsula Barracks.

12 February 2011


Yesterday the blog visited Peninsula Square which was once the home of The King's House, a palace designed by Sir Christopher Wren for King Charles II in 1683. This wall is one of the only remaining parts of the original King's House as the building was destroyed by fire in 1894. The wall itself is now part of Queen Eleanor's Garden behind the Great Hall, and although not very interesting in itself I found it fascinating as you can see on the wall the lines of melted pitch from that came from the roof during the fire.

11 February 2011

The King's House

This is Peninsula Square that I have visited previously in this blog. The luxury houses and apartments here are housed in what was previously Peninsula Barracks.

The original buildings which stood here before were built by Sir Christopher Wren for King Charles II and were destroyed in a fire in 1894. King Charles fell in love with Winchester, and was determined to build a huge royal palace here. He was offered the site of Winchester Castle  and Sir Christopher Wren produced a superb design which was to rival the palace of Versailles. Work began demolishing all the remaining traces of Henry III's medieval castle except the Great Hall in early 1683. Charles II, knowing that he was approaching the end of his life and wanting to see his palace completed before his death, said, 'If it be possible to be done in one year, I will have it so, for a year is a great deal in my life.'

Sadly it was not to be, Charles II died in February 1685 and although the outside of the Palace was built and roofed, it was little more than an incomplete shell. The following monarch (James II), abandoned the project and the building, known as the King's House, fell into disrepair. In the 18th century it was used to hold military prisoners and eventually became military barracks in 1796.
 From the Winchester Museum Archives here is a photo of the original King's House, the style being not too dissimilar to the building of today

10 February 2011

St John's Croft

I saw this house on a walk up to St Giles Hill and thought it looked lovely, so I came back to see if I could find any information on it. The house is called St John's Croft and is actually a Bed and Breakfast establishment. It's a Grade II listed Queen Anne town house built around 1770.

There is some controversy around this house when an adjacent meadow belonging to the property was sold off for development of 14 houses. Local residents waged a campaign against this over-development and the saga rolled on from 2007 until November 2010. The local resident's group eventually realised that it was inevitable houses would be built there, but managed to get the number reduced to just six. The building of the new houses hasn't started yet so if you hurry you might be able to catch a glimpse of the last meadow in Winchester before it is lost forever. Or if you fancy putting a bid in for one of the new houses click here!

09 February 2011

D is for Drawings

At the beginning of 2010 the Winchester-based artist Claire Fuller set herself the goal of producing a drawing every day for one year. Her work is currently on display in the Theatre Royal in Jewry Street. She uses a mixture of ink, charcoal, and even the humble biro pen for most of her drawings. I particularly like the bottom right hand drawing as it reminds me of my son!
For more 'D' related posts visit ABC Wednesday

08 February 2011

Chesil Theatre

Continuing the theatre theme from yesterday here is our 2nd theatre, the Chesil Theatre . It is just opposite the Chesil Rectory, in - you've guessed it - Chesil Street. The theatre occupies St Peter’s Church which once stood outside the City gates in a row of houses serving a bustling community of tradesmen and craftsmen in Chesil Street.

The earliest mention of the church was in 1148. After the Second World War the church fell out of use and by 1960 was structurally unsafe. The Winchester Preservation Trust was formed at that time and its first objective was to save the building. Winchester Dramatic Society accepted an offer of the building rent free but with the responsibility of maintaining it. Ever since then this has been the home of the Chesil Theatre Company which is the premier amateur company in the Winchester area. With over 200 members the company produces 6 plays each year. Their current play is Wait Until Dark.

07 February 2011

Just one more thing...

I used to love Columbo as a kid, yes I know the story was pretty much the same every episode.. We know the murderer from the start, the disheveled Columbo appears and works it out pretty soon too, we watch the criminal's reaction to the ongoing investigation as the intrusive but always polite presence of Columbo increases. The killer often "helps" Columbo with his investigation, eventually discovering too late that the Lieutenant is not nearly as simple-minded as he appears.

And now here at The Theatre Royal in Winchester we have a play version of the first ever episode of Colombo "Prescription Murder" - my opinion? It was great fun!

06 February 2011

Cathedral View

The view from St Giles Hill of the cathedral as the sun was going down.

05 February 2011

St John the Baptist Church

This is another one of the many places of worship in Winchester and is on St John's Street on the way up to St Giles Hill. It's believed to be the oldest parish church in Winchester. The church building was certainly in existence in 1142, though its exact age remains elusive. Parts of the building may have been significantly older, since the church stands in the middle of an important fourth century Roman-British cemetery. This area became a quite prosperous, partly due to the growth of the St Giles Fair on the hill above the church.

The first scholars at Winchester College attended St John's Church when lodging in the area and whilst the college was being built. The church is also on Pilgrims Way and was one of the last churches that pilgrims would attend before setting out for Canterbury.

04 February 2011

Fountain number 3

Here's the 3rd fountain I found in Winchester at Queen Eleanor's Garden set in a small secluded area behind the Great Hall, Queen Eleanor’s Garden is a modern reconstruction of a 13th Century garden which was opened in 1986. The garden is named after the wives of Edward I and Henry III who were both named Eleanor. The fountain is made from Purbeck stone.

03 February 2011

2nd Fountain

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This was the 2nd fountain I found. This drinking fountain is part of the Westgate. It was erected in 1859 by the Mayor W. Hutchinson. To see where it is sited, click here and look to the left of the Westgate.

02 February 2011

C is for Chesil Rectory

The Chesil Rectory is a very nice restaurant in Winchester. It's a Grade II listed building dating back to 1450, and still retains many original features including solid oak beams, ancient doorways and beautiful open fireplaces. On their website they say they are "the oldest house in Winchester" but we already know that The Old Blue Boar also claims to be the oldest!  Whatever! They are both very old!

The word Chesil is believed to be a derivative of the old English "chisol", meaning a shingly beach or bank.

01 February 2011

Littlehales Fountain & 100th post

When the CDPB monthly theme was announced as 'fountains' I thought I'd have a hard time finding any in Winchester as none spring to mind (no pun intended!), but I have infact found 3, and there are probably more hidden away. OK so they're not Trevi Fountains, but here's the first...
At Oram's Arbour in the Fulfood suburb of Winchester is a drinking fountain. Erected in 1880 by Lancelot Littlehales in memory of  his mother Ann Littlehales. The drinking fountain is no longer in use and was originally sited near the Westgate. It features in a photograph of a visit by King George V to Winchester in 1911.  It was moved to its current location in 1935. The photo was taken back in January, the snow has now gone!

Also on a personal note this is my 100th post on my daily photo blog! Not the 100th day as I had a little hiccup at the beginning of the blog! Thanks to anyone who has ever passed by, left comments or followed!

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants