Sunday, October 4, 2015


Since I spend most of my week commuting to the center of London for school, I'm determined to spend my weekends outside of city. I am fortunate enough to live incredibly close (right across the street) to a train station, so I can easily purchase a ticket and just hop on a train.  Well, that's what I did yesterday. I closed my eyes, put my finger on a map, and decided to go wherever my finger landed.

Just kidding. I've actually had a list of places in the UK that I want to visit stashed away on my computer. The list is incredibly long, and there is no way that I will complete it by the time I leave. The town of Winchester just so happens to be not too far from London, and the train fare was pretty cheap.

It turns out that Winchester was a great choice! And once again, I was lucky to have such beautiful weather while enjoying this little excursion.

Fair warning, this post is a photo dump.

So, I started off the morning with a quick tour around the Great Hall. This 13th century structure was originally part of the Winchester Castle (the ruins you see above) and was built during the rule of William the Conqueror.

It is also home to the "Round Table" from the legend of King Arthur. The Table, which is mounted on the wall (see above), is about 800 years old and was originally made of 121 separate pieces of English oak. **Shout out to the Hampshire County Council for their incredibly informative and detailed brochure - it saves me from switching my computer screen back and forth to Wikipedia.**

 Just outside the Great Hall is Queen Eleanor's Garden, which is named after both Queen Eleanor of Provence and Queen Eleanor of Castile. 

And then I made my way through the main street, which had plenty of shops and a little market. 

Finally, I made my way to what I really came to Winchester for: Winchester Cathedral!

Why, yes! This is the English Perpendicular Style that was common during the 13th century. Well spotted!

I spent four hours at the cathedral listening to three separate tours of the space. The first was a tour of the crypt below the cathedral, which dates back to the 11th century. Then I took an extensive tour of the cathedral, and I got to hear more about the history of the building phases and the countless political and religious forces that played a central part to the development of the cathedral. And then finally, I took a tour of the bell tower, which gave me a glimpse of the rafters above the roof and the intricate pulley system that is used to operate the bells. 

This cathedral is also the final resting place for Jane Austen!

The rafters above the ceiling.

Halfway through our journey to the very top of the tower.

No Quasimodo, unfortunately. Apparently, pulling one of the bell ropes is not part of the tour (or any tour). Trust me, I asked.

Low lighting = grainy photos. We were in here when the bells rang at 3:00pm. Incredibly LOUD!

The best part was being able to see these AMAZING views of Winchester and the surrounding countryside from the top of the bell tower. 

If you haven't figured it out by now, I study medieval architecture. I can assure you that this blog will frequently post stuff about medieval cathedrals throughout the next year.


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