Our accommodation, The Cricketers' Inn, was located in Easton, a small town a few miles from Winchester. After breakfast at the inn, we went to visit the local church, St.Mary's.
Some parts of the church date from the 12th century.
It's a small, well kept, country church. Note the unusual shape of the arch.
It has several lovely windows, this one depicts St.Stephen, the first martyr.
The memorial to Agatha Barlow who died in 1595.
As you can read here, she had five daughters (all of whom married bishops!) and two sons. One of them was the rector of St.Mary's for 48 years! Agatha must have been a lovely person - the words are really beautiful.
A simple memorial to those who died in the Great War. It was sobering to see that there were ten names from such a small town.
The Norman doorway - Satoshi is pointing to the consecration cross (original 12th century).
The consecration cross.
The Nativity Window. There was nothing in the church to indicate the age of the windows but I think some of them are quite old.
Detail of above window
We then drove once more to the "Park and Ride" and caught the bus into the city. The council is trying to discourage cars from the city and so the fares are kept very low - £3 covered the car parking and bus travel both ways for both of us!
We had planned to go directly to the cathedral but, high on the published list of things to do in Winchester was Winchester College. Since it was a chance to see a school, we decided to go on the tour. The college was founded in 1394 and claims to be the oldest continually functioning school in England. Many of the buildings still in use were built at that time. The school takes 670 boys aged 13-18. Entry is by examination. There are 70 "Scholars" who wear academic gowns and who live in the original purpose-built medieval buildings. The rest of the students are known as "commoners" and wear a jacket and a collar and tie. They live in ten houses outside the school grounds. We were given strict instructions that no photos were to be taken inside buildings. The tour was fascinating.
The entry gate to Winchester College
This statue is original from 1394. She is in such good condition because she faces away from the weather and has a small niche in which to shelter.
Our guide, Jennifer, explained that the school is walled and has several strong wooden doors to close in case of attack from outside.
When the door was made, messages arrived on parchment scrolls so they needed a round hole in the door to receive them. Later, when paper was used, the additional slot on the left was added!
For hundreds of years, this is where the boys washed. It must have been a barrel of laughs during the winter.
To this day, boys are not allowed to walk down the central path of the courtyard, they must go around the edge.
The painting of the "Trusty Servant".
The motto of the college
The description of the Trusty Servant (the virtues described are the values the school hopes it students will work towards).
This photo (found on internet) is of "hall" where the scholars and their teachers eat their meals. Note that the tables and forms are not original - they only date from the 15th century!!
The original cloister
Inside the cloister - you may be able to discern that the walls are no longer quite straight.
What a lovely old (and very large) tree.
The second cloister in the college was built in 1920 as a memorial to those members who were killed during the Great War.
Inside the cloister, there is recognition of those soldiers who came to the aid of the "motherland", including Australia.
The tour included a visit to the chapel. As we were not allowed to take photos, I found this one on internet. The choir is made up of boys and teachers from the college and also sixteen "quiristers" (an old word for "choristers". These boys have their own separate boarding house and attend the Pilgrim School.
As we were walking back towards the cathedral, we came upon this tablet...
...which was attached to this house (belonging to Winchester College). S.S.Wesley is another of my favourite church music composers but I did not know that he was associated with the college.
These two buildings belong to the Pilgrim School and are located within the Cathedral Close.
After lunch at the Refectory Café, we spent the next three hours exploring Winchester Cathedral.
This is the tomb of William Wykham (1367-1404) who founded both Winchester College and New College at Oxford. He came from a poor background but someone realised that he had potential and paid for him to be educated. He became Bishop of Winchester and was twice the Chancellor of England. He wanted the school to take in 70 boys who showed intelligence but might not otherwise be able to afford an education. Today, the scholars are means tested and those who cannot afford the fees are assisted.
This is the most famous grave in the cathedral, that of Jane Austen. We learnt that, during her lifetime, it was not socially acceptable for a lady to be an author (or anything else for that matter) so her books were published without her name. When she died, only five people attended her funeral. Only males went to funerals as it was thought that they would be too much for women's delicate constitutions. Even her grave gives little indication of her writing abilities.
St.John (with his eagle)
Memorial for S.S.Wesley (he is buried in a cemetery in Exeter)
This little door led to a tunnel where pilgrims would crawl to see the relics of St.Swithun. Our guide told us to note the "medieval grime" on either side of the doorway!
The current shrine to St.Swithun (no body parts).
An unusual wooden lectern
The three kings visit the baby Jesus. I don't know why the one in red had a headache (or toothache?)
Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth. This event in the Bible is called The Visitation. This was one of my favourite windows in the Cathedral.
Looking toward the Quire from the Sanctuary steps.
The stalls in the quire were made from oak in the early 1300s. They are considered to be the finest set of quire furniture from this time period in the whole of Europe. They survived the Reformation because, as you can see in the three photos above, the carvings were not Christian!
The Sanctuary. The Great Screen was completed in 1475 and would have housed brightly coloured statues of the saints. These were removed during the Reformation. The statues that can be seen today were added in the 1880s.
St.Swithun is one of the saints in the screen. He carries a bridge because there is a legend that he built the first stone bridge over the River Itchen that runs through Winchester. Another legend is a report of a miracle It tells of a simple act of human kindness to a poor woman. When crossing the bridge, she was jostled and dropped her basket of eggs. The saint took pity on her – and made her broken eggs whole.
Another depiction of St.John
The Virtue of Fortitude
The North Aisle
The Vaulting above the Nave
Looking up into the tower
Having learned that the choir of Winchester College was to sing Evensong, we attended there as we had already heard the Cathedral Choir. The responses were by Rose, the canticles were Stanford in G and the anthem was Greater Love Hath No Man by John Ireland. The director of the choir was Malcolm Arnold who is a quite well-known composer of choral music. On any scale, the standard of this choir was amazing. Considering it is, essentially, a secondary school choir, makes the standard incredible! It is disappointing that we can't hear them again.