The first permanent residents of Winchester appear to have arrived in the Iron Age, sometime around 150BC, establishing both a hill fort and also a trading settlement on the western edge of the modern city. It is administered by Her Majesty's Courts Service, an Executive Agency of the Ministry of Justice. Disaster struck Winchester in 1348-49 when the Black Death arrived, brought in from mainland Europe by migrating Asian black rats. [54], Independent junior/preparatory schools are The Pilgrims' School Winchester, the Prince's Mead School and Twyford School, which is just outside the city and claims to be the oldest preparatory school in the United Kingdom. [33], Winchester is situated on a bed of Cretaceous lower chalk with small areas of clay and loam soil, inset with combined clay and rich sources of fuller's earth. Since then, Winchester City Council elections take place in three out of every four years, with one third of the councillors elected in each election. Patrick Gale's 2009 book The Whole Day Through is set in Winchester. The district has 16 electoral wards, Five of these cover the area of the city itself: St Barnabas, St Paul, St Luke, St Bartholomew, and St Michael;[39] they have three councillors each apart from St Luke, which is a two-member ward. It developed from the Roman town of Venta Belgarum, which in turn developed from an Iron Age oppidum. The settlement reduced in size, but work was carried out to improve the city's defences. In one of the final acts of that long and bloody conflict Cromwell’s men destroyed Winchester Castle, preventing it from falling into royalist hands ever again. Copyright © Historic UK Ltd. Company Registered in England No. For the rest of the fifth century and early sixth century, England entered what is now referred to as the Dark Ages. Simon de Montfort ransacked the Jewish quarter in 1264, and in 1290 all Jews were expelled from England. Additionally, the invading Romans did not even feel threatened enough to establish a military fort in the area from which they could control revolting natives. Aside from the city centre, there are several suburbs and neighbourhoods within the city, including: From 1835 to 1974, Winchester was governed as a municipal borough of Hampshire. Wessex, also known as the Kingdom of the West Saxons, was a large and extremely influential Anglo-Saxon kingdom from 519 to 927AD. The fortunes of Winchester through much of the Middle Ages derived from the woollen industry, as locally produced wool was first cleaned, woven, dyed, fashioned into cloth and then sold on. Next to it is Milner Hall, built in the 1780s it was the first Catholic church to be consecrated since 1558. What we now call “the City of London”, the ancient square mile that Rome founded, was an entity of its own. Alfred had successfully defended Wessex, a region of Southern England, against attacks from the Vikings and whoever ruled Wessex inherited the title of King of England. Technically “London” didn’t become the capital until after the 16th Century. Winchester is currently represented in the House of Commons by Steve Brine, of the Conservatives, who in the 2010 General Election beat Martin Tod, the Liberal Democrat candidate, by 3048 votes (a margin of 5.4%). Winchester has a separate district probate registry, which is part of the High Court. [43] It was once an important pilgrimage centre and housed the shrine of Saint Swithun. In the movie Merlin, King Uther's first conquest of Britain begins with Winchester, which Merlin foresaw would fall. Winchester is in part the model for Barchester in the Barsetshire novels of Anthony Trollope, who attended Winchester College; The Warden (1855) is said to be based on a scandal at the Hospital of St Cross. Royal Winchester Golf Club is on downland adjacent to the Clarendon Way with fine views over distant country. The cathedral has a girls choir and a boys choir, who sing regularly in the cathedral. There was an archa in the city, and the Jewish quarter was located in the city's heart (present day Jewry street). St Peters Catholic Primary School had the highest SATS results, after achieving a perfect score of 300 in 2011. It was during these Dark Ages that the Anglo-Saxons became established in southern and eastern England. Actor Colin Firth is from Winchester and was educated at Montgomery of Alamein School (now Kings' School). The mayoral term length is currently one year. The mill has recently been restored, and is again milling corn by water power. Opposite the table are Prince Charles's 'Wedding Gates'. [2] Winchester is the county town of Hampshire and contains the head offices of Hampshire County Council. Roman Sites It is owned by the National Trust. The Winchester School of Art was founded in the 1860s as an independent institution and is now a school of the University of Southampton. In 2014 ownership of the City museum was transferred to the Hampshire Cultural Trust as part of a larger transfer of museums from Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council[49], Other important historic buildings include the Guildhall dating from 1871 in the Gothic revival style,[50] the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, designed by William Butterfield, and Winchester City Mill, one of the city's several water mills driven by the River Itchen that runs through the city centre. [75] This is frequently referred to throughout the book, as well as mentioning St. Swithin's Day and the St. Swithin's weather myth.[75][76]. [citation needed]. Winchester is easily accessible by both road and rail, please try our UK Travel Guide for further information. William the Conqueror is so impressed that he pardons him. Coach loads of visitors arrived and depart on Broadway in the city centre. In this article, we take a look at the Kings and Queens that ruled over the kingdom for almost half a millennium. In the Japanese manga Death Note, The Wammy's House, an orphanage founded by Quillish Wammy, where the detective L's successors (Mello, Near, and Matt) are raised, is located in Winchester. By the 3rd century the wooden town defences were replaced with stone walls, at which time Winchester extended to almost 150 acres, making it the fifth largest town in Roman Britain. His statue, created by Hamo Thornycroft, was placed there in 1901 to celebrate one thousand years since Alfred became king of England and made Winchester his capital. [50], Castle Hill is the location of the Council Chamber for Hampshire County Council. In the Late Iron Age, a more urban settlement type developed, known as an oppidum, although the archaeology of this phase remains obscure. Also in the late 10th century, the Old Minster was enlarged as a centre of the cult of the 9th century Bishop of Winchester, Saint Swithun. [71], In March 2016, Winchester was named as the best place to live in Britain by the "Sunday Times Best Places To Live" guide.[72]. Visitors are welcome at all three clubs. He built a navy of new fast ships to defend against attack from the sea. Castles in England The local Saturday football league, the Winchester & District League, folded in 2010. He created the drainage system, the "Lockburn", which served as the town drain until 1875, and still survives. It was supposedly instigated to aid pilgrims on their way to Canterbury. Few however may realise that some of Winchester’s first settlers arrived there more than 2,000 years ago. Museums There are three 18-hole golf courses. After the Roman conquest of Britain, the settlement served as the capital (Latin: civitas) of the Belgae and was distinguished as Venta Belgarum, "Venta of the Belgae". This Roman new town developed over the centuries of occupation to become the region’s capital, with streets laid out in a grid pattern to accommodate the splendid houses, shops, temples and public baths. [citation needed], A number of public figures and celebrities were students at Peter Symonds College in Winchester, including TV presenter and model Alexa Chung, singer-songwriter and drummer Andy Burrows, glamour model Lucy Pinder, comedian Jack Dee, Magician Ben Hart and singer/actress Gina Beck.

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