The zzzland Times

Our travel

Winchester, UK

Winchester developed from the Roman town of Venta Belgarum, which in turn developed from an Iron Age oppidum. Winchester's major landmark is Winchester Cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, with the distinction of having the longest nave and overall length of all Gothic cathedrals in Europe. It is also the focus of this page. We visited the city again in June 2018.

The cathedral was founded in 642 on a site immediately to the north of the present one. This building became known as the Old Minster. It became part of a monastic settlement in 971.

Saint Swinton was buried near the Old Minster and then in it, before being moved to the new Norman cathedral. So-called mortuary chests said to contain the remains of Saxon kings such as King Eadwig of England, first buried in the Old Minster, and his wife are in the present cathedral.
The Old Minster was demolished in 1093, immediately after the consecration of its successor.

JANE AUSTEN was feeling unwell by early 1816, but ignored the warning signs

As her illness progressed, she experienced difficulty walking and lacked energy; by mid-April  1817 she was confined to bed.

In May Cassandra and Henry brought her to Winchester for treatment, by which time she suffered and welcomed death.

Austen died in Winchester on 18 July 1817, at the age of 41. Henry, through his clerical connections, arranged for his sister to be buried in the north aisle of the nave of Winchester Cathedral.

The above  epitaph composed by her brother James praises Austen's personal qualities, expresses hope for her salvation and mentions the "extraordinary endowments of her mind", but does not explicitly mention her achievements as a writer.

Sound II, statue by Antony Gormley in the flooded crypt.The mysterious statue contemplates the water held in cupped hands. Gormley spoke of the connection of memories to basic elements of the physical world, "Is it possible to do this and make something fresh, like dew or frost – something that just is, as if its form had always been like this.’
The crypt would serve as a place to take refuge.  Having a water well in the crypt was a necessity. It is also located at the center of the church.
Check out the sediment resting at the bottom of this deep well.
This low-vaulted stone crypt, which floods in rainy months, dates from the 11th century, the earliest phase of building the cathedral. We took a tour of the crypt. Fascinating stuff.
Update: We were unable to tour the crypt in June 2018 because there was still some water from the recent flooding.