n 1070 Stigand, the Saxon bishop, was replaced by Walkelin a Norman. The existing building was demolished to make way for a new Cathedral. The importance of area on which the Cathedral is built went back a long way. In 635 Cynegils, the king of West Saxon was baptised as part of Christianity coming to Saxon England. In 899, Alfred the Great was buried in the Old Minster (one of the earlier buildings) and then moved to the New Minster that was built to the north of it. The Saxon church remained standing until the Norman Cathedral was completed by Easter of 1093. Much of the Cathedral built by Walkelin has been altered over the years. The central tower collapsed in 1107, blamed on the fact that William Rufus had been buried beneath it seven years earlier, and it was completely rebuilt. The legend of St. Swithun could be based on the fact that as his body was moved from the site in the Old Minster to a more splendid position, a violent storm occurred. Whether it did rain for 40 days is not known. Winchester is the longest cathedral in Europe with a length of 556 feet. The main work on the cathedral was performed by two bishops, William of Wykeham (1367-1404) and Henry Beaufort, Cardinal-Bishop of Winchester (1405-47). William Wynford was the main architect under Wykeham.
Through the Winter months Aethelred provided the Vikings with lodgings and £16,000 in cash to stop the raids on his land. Aethelred was also the sponsor at the baptism of Olaf Trygvasson. Olaf was given instruction from the Aelfheah Bishop of Winchester. ¹
William Rufus was buried under the tower of Winchester Cathedral. The tower fell down either in 1101 or 1107. The cause was blamed on the wickedness of the King's bones but was probably due to poor construction or uncertain foundations.
The Crown Wearing. Richard took part in a precession to Winchester Cathedral. The king wore a golden crown and was followed by notables from the Church and State. The previous Crown Wearing was in 1158. ¹
Peter des Rievaulx, the nephew of the Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester, is made treasurer of the Henry III's household and keeper of the king's wardrobe. This moved him into an extremely important position for controlling the king's affairs. ¹
Simon's son was sent to London to raise money and troops. He diverted back through Winchester which was loyal to the king and then moved through Oxford and Northampton. Edward (I) moved from Worcester to Bridgnorth destroying bridges and means of allowing Simon who was on the Welsh side of the Avon from crossing back. The people of Bristol, friendly to Simon's cause sent ships to Newport to help Simon cross, but they were intercepted and destroyed by Edward. ¹
The marriage of Queen Mary of England and Philip of Spain took place. The marriage was conducted at Winchester Cathedral.
3D Virtual Reconstructions
Transport yourself back up to a thousand years and explore historical buildings as they may have appeared in the past. Built using the popular game development tool Unity 3D, these reconstructions will run in the most of the popular web browsers on your desktop or laptop computer.
Uncover the lives of the hundreds of kings, queens, lords, ladies, barons, earls, archbishops and rebels who made the medieval people an exciting period of history to live through.
Selection of references used:
1. Magnus Magnusson, Vikings!
2. John Harvey, English Cathedrals, 1961
3. The Plantagenet Chronicles, ISBN:1-85501-685-0
4. John Gillingham, The Life and Times of Richard I, 1974
5. Elizabeth Luckock and Caroline Gundy, Simon de Montfort, 1969, ISBN:08-008236-6