Winchester Cathedral, as seen today, was built between 1079 and 1532. There has been a place of worship here for much longer, indeed in the grounds just off the left of the photo above, one can still see the older buildings layout on the ground. The first Christian church an be traced back to around 648, and a church of some-sort to 164! Although I’m not a practicing anything these days, I was brought up as a Christian, went to church with my family up until my mid teens, then drifted. I do still however enjoy the peace of a church or a cathedral. I feel I must also comment that I dislike the practice of charging an admission fee to places of worship. I realise that they do cost a fortune to up-keep, but at the same time, in my opinion it reduces the place to a tourist attraction. The Church of England is not a poor organisation! Anyway – that aside, I don’t disagree with the principle enough to not visit… lets go in!
The window above the main west door, was once a regular stained glass window if there could be such a thing. During the civil war, the roundheads rode into town causing havoc and destroyed the window. Later the pieces were re-installed in a random, rather modern art looking mosaic.
At 558 feet, the nave is the longest medieval nave in the world. Above it the ceiling, remodelled in gothic fashion by William Wykeham in the mid 14th century. This leads through the choir stalls, shadowed in the foreground the the altar and the Great Screen (Reredos) dating from 1450 to 1476 (below).
Exiting here to the left, tucked under some stairs we can visit the Norman vaulted crypt. There has been a statue by the artist Antony Gormley here since the 80’s. The crypt often floods and the statue then is joined by it’s refection. I find it very beautiful.
The North Transept contains some of the best Norman parts of the building.
Continuing on we reach the North Choir Aisle, leading to the Retro-Choir.
The Cathedral has seen centuries of repair and refurbishment, the latest, to the Reredos, only finally coming to an end on 21st May 2019. It is now possible to visit, for the fist time, in a long time, without scaffold in view! All of the photographs above were taken with my trusty Pentax ME Super and either the 50mm f1.4 or the 28mm f 2.8 The film was Agfa Vista 200.