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Winchester Cathedral

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Address: 9 The Close, Winchester SO23 9LS, England
Phone Number:
+44 1962 857200
Website
Today
09:30 - 17:00
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun 12:30 - 15:00
Mon - Sat 09:30 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Description:

Fifteen centuries of English history lie behind the magnificent Cathedral...

Fifteen centuries of English history lie behind the magnificent Cathedral you see today. It stands at the heart of historic Winchester, once the seat of Anglo-Saxon and Norman royal power, on the site of an early Christian church. Begun in 1079, the Cathedral has been a place of worship ever since.

Today the Cathedral welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and in recent years has become well known for its annual Christmas Market and open-air ice rink, which alone attract over 350,000 visitors.

A walk round the Cathedral takes you through centuries of English architecture. Particularly striking is the vast gothic nave, the longest medieval nave in Europe. Great works of art, including paintings, sculptures and carvings can be found throughout the building. Don’t miss the Crypt, this atmospheric part of the Cathedral is home to Antony Gormley’s contemplative statue ‘Sound II’ which, after prolonged periods of rainfall can be seen standing in water.

The Winchester Bible, the largest and finest of all surviving 12th-century English bibles, is one of the Cathedral’s greatest treasures. Its exquisitely illuminated capital letters, coloured with gold and lapis lazuli, are as intense today as they would have been 800 years ago.

The Cathedral is the resting place of many influential and famous people including Saxon kings, bishops and the much-loved English novelist Jane Austen, who was buried in the Cathedral in 1817. An exhibition telling of Jane’s life in Hampshire can be found beside her grave and a memorial plaque funded by her nephew is on the wall adjacent.

A guided tour provided by the Cathedral’s own volunteer guides is by far the best way to explore the building. Available on the hour from 10am – 3pm Monday to Saturday, these hour-long tours really do bring the Cathedral, its characters and history to life.

It’s worth taking the time to walk through the Cathedral’s historic Inner Close where you will find beautiful buildings and hidden gardens and a gateway to a pretty area of the City known as Kingsgate Village.

A perfect way to round-off your visit is a visit to The Refectory, serving homemade cakes, a seasonal lunch menu and a good range of drinks. The pretty terrace and orchard with outdoor seating enjoy good views of the Cathedral.

The Cathedral Shop sells a wide range of gifts, cards, books and music, many items have been commissioned especially for the Cathedral so can’t be found anywhere else. A selection of products are available to purchase online via the cathedral website.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Spectacular

The architecture and statuary in this cathedral are unbelievable! Allow at least an hour or two to tour. Interestingly, for those over 50, people under 50 do not remember the... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
JimBlaine
,
Springfield, MO
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2,623 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 2,425: English reviews
Springfield, MO
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

The architecture and statuary in this cathedral are unbelievable! Allow at least an hour or two to tour. Interestingly, for those over 50, people under 50 do not remember the song "Winchester Cathedral"; even in this city.

Helpful?
Thank JimBlaine
Poulton Le Fylde, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
664 reviews
269 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 262 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The building is light and and airy with a graciously arched roof and splendid choir. Inside there is much to see for instance the Winchester Bible which is the largest and finest of all surviving 12th-century English bibles. The statue and story of William the diver who saved the cathedral was fascinating, I never heard anything like it before and... More 

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Thank Lavarcham
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Charging someone to go into a place which is owned by everyone is morally wrong. A religious place should be free to enter as it's for everyone to enjoy irrespective of their wealth or background. I've been to Wells, Chichester, Gloucester, Rochester, Portsmouth, and Guildford cathedrals yet none of them wanted to extract money from me. I do put money... More 

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Thank JE4936
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
263 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Magnificent building with 1,000 years of history. See Jane Austin's grave, along with a brief outline of her life, the Antony Gormley sculpture in the Crypt and the 12th century Bible, which is amazing and the lady steward was extremely informative. They hope to have all 4 on display soon. The mortuary boxes in the Quire wee the first I... More 

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Thank bazjs
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Lovely cathedral .troublelots and lots of visitors .good for revenue but hard to just browse at a leisurely pace.enjoyed visit

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Thank richard c
Enford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
402 reviews
253 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

One of the best Cathedrals we have been too - absolutely huge and full of historical interest. So much to look at here that it will take you a good part of the day. Various historical ages of architecture went into the building and it is all there to see. The last resting places of several Saxon Kings as well... More 

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1 Thank emtrey
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
125 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We were in Winchester for the weekend and I'd hoped to be able to get to Evensong; luckily our plans made this possible. As a student I lived nearby and regularly attended the cathedral for Evensong in the days when David Hill was organist and DM. The choir is every bit as good under Andrew Lumsden and Winchester and the... More 

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1 Thank timpaws
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

My mother and I went to visit for the day and took the free tour which was really lovely. The guide was very informative and surprisingly interesting, even for a fourteen year old :) We also stayed for the evensong which was really beautiful. The chamber choir was stunning. I would highly recommend a visit.

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Thank Hannah R
Clacton-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
181 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Great architecture, lots of history and plenty to see and marvel at. Admission isnt free but worth the £5.95. Make time to visit the gift shop and cafe opposite.

Helpful?
Thank Ifachef
Malmesbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Our first time visiting Winchester Cathedral, WOW, fantastic >>> Stayed for evensong and glad we did, great service and the choir was so good.

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Thank Starman100

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