Winchester

Teachers seem to have this belief that as students get older, their love for school trips diminishes – they are wrong. Since my university has introduced enhancement weeks half way through our terms, there is ample time for ‘enhancing’ trips out, which I am thoroughly enjoying.

For my module on Gothic architecture, we first took a trip to the beautiful city of Winchester.

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Winchester was once almost seen like the capital of England and so it is full of medieval history.

Our morning began at the cathedral. An example with both Romanesque and Gothic elements we were able to analyse it to our hearts content. This was significantly helped as we were taken around by the consultant archaeologist Dr John Crook. What was particularly exciting is that he was able to take us up into both the aisle roof and the nave roof which was phenomenal. Unfortunately my camera couldn’t handle the dark and so refused to cooperate.

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Peeking out from above the aisle roof out into the nave.

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After what seemed like endless, spiral steps, we emerged out of a tiny door to find this!

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After recovering from all of our climbing and a spot of lunch, we headed on our walk to find the Hospital of St Cross. We were lucky and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but the previous day’s rain made the riverside walk rather muddy. I was very thankful it wasn’t raining when we were there.

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Here there is a beautiful little church in a small complex of buildings. Accompanied with the walk it was a lovely little excursion. Certainly better than being sat in a dreary classroom, looking at photo’s of it.

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Our final stop of the day was the Medieval hall which was once the heart of the great Winchester Palace. As so many Medieval halls no longer exist, or have been altered throughout time, it is fantastic to experience a thirteenth century hall.

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The hall is relatively empty, giving predominance to ‘King Arthur’s’ table hung on the wall. As you would probably guess, legend believes it to be THE round table where Arthur and his knights stood. More realistically it was commissioned under Edward I for a tournament near Windsor to celebrate the betrothal of one of his daughters. The vivid painting was a Tudor addition, depicting King Henry VIII as Arthur at the top.

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Winchester is the kind of city that I love. Somewhere that is beautiful with history on every corner. Although I spent the day sightseeing, it is the perfect place to relax and to soak up the culture.

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