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A pillar in the history of Hampshire

History of the City Winchester

Brief History of Winchester

Small Beginnings

The City of Winchester can be traced back by almost 2000 years, the city began life as a small Roman town in around 70 AD named Venta Belgarum. The town remained in Roman control until 407 AD in which time it thrived, becoming the 5th largest city in Roman Britain and was declared the regional capital.


Saxon Settlers

In the 6th century Winchester was settled by Saxons who named the location Wintancaester. This name gradually evolved throughout time to the name Winchester. Over the next 200 years the area was frequented by many Roman monks spreading the word of Christianity who built a Minster Church within the city walls. Winchester then became the seat of the Bishop of Wessex in 676 AD.


Kingdom of Wessex

In the 9th century Kind Alfred of Wessex revived the city of Winchester fortifying it against the constant Danish invaders. Winchester soon flourished as the new layout for the city encouraged further settlers to live and trade within the safety of its walls. King Alfred was a large influence of unifying Anglo-Saxon culture taking the first steps towards bringing together the separate Saxon kingdoms creating the kingdom of England. King Alfred was forever known as Alfred the Great for all of his deeds for the betterment of England and Saxon society.

Following the death of Alfred the Great in 901 AD England was officially unified in 927 with Winchester as its Capital City. However, Winchester declined during the 12th and 13th centuries as the city of London grew much larger, eventually taking its place as capital of England. 


Winchester Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, Saint Peter, Saint Paul and Saint Swithun more commonly, known as The Winchester Cathedral, is undoubtably the most famous building in the City of Winchester, measuring 150 feet high and 558 feet in length, it is the longest medieval cathedral in the world. Constructed gradually between 1079 to 1532 - The Norman Cathedral replaced the Old and New Minster churches of Winchester of the Saxon era.


Present Day

Today, the city of Winchester is a bustling tourist location attracting people throughout the year. Famous for its stunning architecture and rich history, as well as events such as its beautiful Christmas market in the grounds of the cathedral.