19 Untold Winchester Facts that No One Knows

Welcome to Winchester😃, the mesmerizing and historically important city of England!

From its rich cultural heritage to its attractive monuments and thrilling secrets, it offers fascinating facts for you to explore!

This article will offer some wonderful facts about the city of Winchester that will amaze you!

Let’s start this unforgettable journey!

Amazing Winchester Facts

Winchester City: Houses the oldest school in England

Winchester College

I am quite amazed to explore this wonderful fact about the city of Winchester! What about you??

Winchester College is the oldest school in England. Also, it has the longest continuous history of any school 🏛️ in England! In the year 1382, it was established by the Bishop of Winchester, William of Wykeham, to educate poor scholars.

However, later it turned out to be a private boarding school for fee-paying candidates.

Winchester: The origin of its name

The area near Winchester has been inhabited since Pre-historic times. The first recorded name of the settlement in this city is believed to be Uenta or Wenta. It is actually a Celtic word meaning ‘favored place’ or ‘meeting place.’

Under Roman rule, it became Venta Belgarum, and it became one of the most vital settlements in Britain. However, when the empire collapsed, it became a lot like a ghost town until the Anglo-Saxons got control over the area.

The name Winchester came from an Anglo-Saxon term for a Roman settlement that is ‘caester.’ Venta Caester soon became Winchester!

The Winchester Round Table: Is it the real King Arthur’s?

Winchester Round Table

The Winchester Round Table that we will see in Winchester Castle may look similar to King Arthur’s round table. However, it was actually first constructed in the 13th century for Edward I as a part of a Round Table tournament.

A Round Table was an event inspired by King Arthur 👑and might have included feasting and jousting to commemorate either a victory in battle or a wedding!

During the time of Edward I, the table was of plain wood. Later, Henry VIII wanted it to be painted with vibrant colors to give it the look of the mythological Round Table. 

The Mona Lisa in Winchester: It can be found in the city’s bollards 

Did you hear this fun fact about Winchester?

The Mona Lisa, well, not exactly the true one, but rather a copy of the painting🖼️ has spruced up one of the city’s plain bollards!

Not only this masterpiece of Da Vinci but also around 21 other bollards have been painted in the style of some of the most famous artworks on the planet. We can see these in The Square in Winchester!

This artistic project started in 2005 and is still in progress.

Other notable works that may attract include the works of Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, Gustav Klimt, Rene Magritte, and Jackson Pollock.

The city of Winchester: Explore Tudor-era graffiti

If you love to know about historical arts like me, then you will surely love this wonderful secret about Winchester City!

The oldest graffiti to have been seen in the famous Winchester Cathedral apparently dates all the way back to 1545!

However, it is quite tough, probably impossible, even to confirm whether this is actually true or not. Thus, historians just need to believe the word of the sneaky graffiti artist for it.

Beautiful Winchester: It had a 9th-century makeover

In the 9th century, King Alfred the Great redesigned the entire city to make it quite easier to protect the city from the Vikings. 

He planned to create a more grid-like layout, which has lasted today, and he made the city his de facto capital!

King Alfred was buried in Hyde Abbey; however, his remains have since been lost. In order to commemorate his high impact on Winchester, in 1899, a statue was erected 1000 years since his passing. Also, it has the inscription saying, ‘Alfred, To the Founder of the Kingdom and Nation.’

Winchester Cathedral: It is Europe’s longest cathedral

 Winchester Cathedral

Did you know this amazing fact about the beautiful English city known as Winchester??

Though Winchester Cathedral isn’t the continent’s largest Cathedral⛪, as this honor goes to the Duomo di Milano in Italy, it still has the longest nave as well as the longest overall length of a Cathedral in Europe’s Gothic architectural style.

It is not surprising that today this cathedral is one of the top attractions in Winchester City!

Winchester City: A great place to enjoy cycling, walking, and exploring countryside

Whether people wish to take a pleasant stroll after a tiring day or wish to engage in an active pursuit, Winchester City can be a great place for them.

Surprised, right?

From the city’s center, we will see a 20-minute walk just to reach the ancient Hospital of St Cross and Almhouse!

We all know that the villages, towns, and countryside of Hampshire are some of the most beautiful places in Britain, as these are full of bright yellow and green 🌳 stretching for miles.

Here, we can even get to experience the beauty of the amazing thatched cottages. 

Winchester: Explore Jane Austen’s House

Jane Austen’s House Of Winchester

Residing in Chawton, Hampshire, around 18 miles of Winchester City, the famous and amazing writer🖋️, Jane Austen started feeling unwell early in 1816.

When her uncle died leaving nothing to his relatives, her condition worsened and around mid-April she was bed-ridden.

Suffering tremendous pain, her brother-in-law Henry and sister Cassandra brought her to the city in May for treatment.

She resided here, at 8 College Street, for the last few weeks of her life. At the age of 41, on 18th July, this world-famous writer passed away. She is buried ⚰️in the north aisle of Winchester Cathedral’s nave.

Winchester: It is home to the oldest charitable institution in the UK

Henry de Blois, the Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, grandson of William the Conqueror and the Bishop of Winchester founded the Hospital of St Cross and Almhouse of Nobel Poverty in the 1130s.

It is famous as the oldest charitable institution in the entire United Kingdom! Constructed on the scale of an Oxbridge college, the almshouses are some of the biggest medieval examples in the country.

Since the 14th century, and still today, a ‘wayfarer’s dole’ of ale and bread are 🍞distributed at the chapel.

The sustenance was instigated to help pilgrims on their way to Canterbury.

Winchester: Its cafes, restaurants, and pubs

Restaurants In Winchester

If you are a foodie like me, then you will surely love this amazing fact about the beautiful city of Winchester. 

This English city has some of the oldest pubs in the country. From debating the best way to grow roses to who will be the winner of the county cricket championships, there is nothing that can beat a glass🍷 of wine al fresco.

Amazing restaurants and pubs are abound in the city, whether people need a delicious lunch at the Chesil Rectory or something French in dinner at the Hotel du Vin, Winchester is surely a great place.

Winchester City: Its fairs, street theater, and Farmers market

Residents of Winchester gather on the cathedral lawns or the High Street during the summer festival season to celebrate street theater.

This beautiful English city hosts one of the nation’s largest farmers’ markets. This market 🛍️has around 100 stalls of locally grown fresh produce! Really impressive, isn’t it??

During the Christmas holiday season, numerous kids holding paper lanterns process to the Cathedral Close, to mark the opening of the Ice Rink and Christmas Market.

Geography and climate of Winchester: Explore the city’s location and climate

This beautiful city of Winchester is located on a bed of Cretaceous lower chalk. It has small areas of clay and loam soil, inset with combined clay and also rich sources of fuller’s earth.

Similar to the rest of the United Kingdom, Winchester City has an oceanic 🌊 climate. Also, the nearest Met Office station of the city is in Martyr Worthy, located just outside the city.

Winchester City: Know about St Peter‘s Catholic Church

 St Peter‘s Catholic Church In Winchester

Love to explore ancient buildings? We will get to see one in Winchester City.

Between St Peter’s Street and Jewry Street is the famous St Peter’s Catholic Church! t was constructed in the year 1924 and designed by Frederick Walters. 

Next to this building, we will see Milner Hall. It was built in the 1780s and was the first Catholic church ⛪to be consecrated since the year 1558.

Winchester and its primary and secondary schools

The city has different types of Church of England primary schools, including both private and government provision schools. St Peters Catholic Primary School has the highest results in the SATS after getting a perfect score of 300 in 2011.

Also, there are four state comprehensive secondary schools in the city. Those are Kings’ School Winchester, the Henry Beaufort School, The Westgate School, and even the community special school, the Osborne School.

The last one, called Osborne School, is a state-funded special school for students 🧒between 11 and 19 years. 

Transport in Winchester: Know the city’s bus services

Transport In Winchester

Want to know about the bus services in Winchester? Let me explain.

Rural, local, and Park and Ride bus services 🚌 are offered by Stagecoach South. It runs to Alton, Andover, Romsey, Petersfield, and Fareham. 

Bluestar offers services to Southampton and Eastleigh.

Sports in Winchester: Its golf courses and rugby teams

Love to enjoy golf? Then you will surely love this fact about Winchester.

There are three 18-hole golf courses. Royal Winchester Golf Club is located on the downland adjacent to Clarendon Way.

Hockley Golf Club of Winchester is located on St Catherine’s Hill. 

The city has a rugby union team called Winchester RFC and also an athletics club, Winchester and District AC.

Winchester: The best place to live in Hampshire, England

Hampshire In Winchester

For the year 2023, Winchester has been honored as the best place to live in Hampshire, according to Muddy Stiettos. It is even one of the most expensive💰 as well as affluent areas in the UK.

Also, in March 2016, the city was named as the best place to live in the country of Britain by the “Sunday Times Best Places to Live” guide.

Winchester City and its drainage system

Drainage System Of Winchester

I am quite impressed to learn this interesting fact about Winchester City!

The city created the drainage system called the “Lockburn.” It served as the city drain until the year 1875, and still survives.

Summing up

So little knowledge lovers, now you know 😊 that Winchester City takes pride in its interesting history, natural beauty, and modern advancements.

From the world-famous cathedral and theaters to its amazing parks and gardens, what in Winchester attracts you the most?

As we are already enjoying this journey together, we would love 😄 to hear from you!

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