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David Ford, History EditorTours > Winchester Cathedral

Tour the Winchester Cathedral
by David Nash Ford BA, Editor, History on Britannia

Crypt

The present cathedral church in Winchester was originally erected in the late 11th century by Bishop Walkelin. Only small portions of this building survive. It was of the more-or-less standard Norman design with a rounded east-end and, though rebuilt centuries later, this pattern is still reflected in the plan of the Romanesque crypt below.

The crypt is an eerie silent part of the cathedral supported by stumpy columns and heavy Norman vaulting. It houses a well directly under the high-altar which probably pre-dates the building's construction. The area is only open for examination in the summer months when it is dry. Throughout most of the year, the area is completely flooded as it lies well below the present water-table. You can, however, usually step inside the door in the north transept into a raised platform from where you can admire its simplistic beauty and wonder at the strange modern sculpture which rises from the waters.

Next Stop: Holy Sepulchre Chapel




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