One of the largest cathedrals in England, Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire, England is a beautiful Gothic cathedral dating back to 1097. Most tourists visit for the buried remains of author Jane Austen, but the soaring Perpendicular Gothic nave of Winchester Cathedral, the longest in England, is the highlight of the building.
For over a thousand years, people have come to seek inspiration in this magnificent Cathedral. Today, over 300,000 visitors a year come to the Winchester Cathedral to worship, explore the heritage and attend events.
Things to do at the Winchester Cathedral
See the crypt
Step down into the crypt where you’ll find Antony Gormley’s famous sculpture Sound II. This mysterious life-size statue of a man contemplating the water held in his cupped hands is the work of the celebrated British sculptor Antony Gormley. You can find Sound II, fashioned from lead out of a plaster cast of the artist’s own body, in the Cathedral crypt, which floods during rainy months.
Tour the Tower
Climb the 213 steps to the top of the tower and experience magnificent views across Winchester and the county. You will see the ringing chamber, the great Cathedral bells and walk the full length of the nave roof with its huge wood beams.
See the Winchester Bible
The Winchester Bible is the largest and finest of all surviving 12th-century English bibles. A single scribe wrote out its text in Latin, while artists worked its exquisitely illuminated capital letters. Their glowing colors, including gold and lapis lazuli, are as intense today as 800 years ago.
The ornate, soaring 15th-century stone screen behind the high altar is one of the most important monuments of the period. The original painted statues that once adorned its carved niches are gone, destroyed in the Reformation, but you can see a few glorious survivals in the Triforium Gallery, including a magnificent head of God the Father.
Find Jane Austen
Read the ledgerstone at the grave of Jane Austen, the great English novelist who lived and wrote in Hampshire.
Travel on Celtic Tours Wonderful Devon and Cornwall self-drive tour of England for a chance to visit this amazing cathedral.