Winchester Cathedral

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My husband and I visited Winchester Cathedral last week. I had been before, but this was the first time we had a guided tour. I am so glad that we did. The tour guide was excellent and gave us a thorough and complete history of the cathedral – the longest in Europe and one of the most beautiful I have seen.

We were shown Jane Austen's tomb and given a brief history of her life including her sudden and fatal illness. We also learnt about St Swithun, who had many associations with the cathedral as did William of Wykeham. One thing that impressed us was the magnificent stained glass window which had been destroyed at the time of the Reformation but had been meticulously pieced together, albeit randomly, although some of the faces remained intact. How destructive men can be! It also saddened us to see headless statues – again the work of 'reformists' – although fortunately most of the ancient carvings remained intact. We were fascinated to hear about how they were mostly the work of one man, a master carver from Norfolk who is thought to have lived in the 14th century.

The cathedral shop was well stocked although a bit expensive – but then isn't everything these days? However our entry fee to the cathedral entitles us to free entry for a year.

Yes, Winchester cathedral is definitely worth a visit.

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