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Winchester Cathedral

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Coordinates: 51°3′38″N, 1°18′47″W

This exterior view at Winchester, taken from near the north west corner of the cathedral, and with a war memorial statue in the foreground, looks acutely along the north side of the building, showing it receding into the distance.
Winchester Cathedral is the longest mediaeval church in the world, 169 metres (554 ft).
This interior view at Winchester shows the whole length of the nave, which has huge stone piers which appear to comprise clusters of upward-sweeping stone shafts. The stone vault has ribs which sweep up to a point and have been likened to the branches of trees in a forest. The overall effect is visually spectacular.
The nave of Winchester, gives an impression of height as well as length, but at 23.7 metres (78 ft) it is half the height of Beauvais.

Winchester Cathedral is a mediaeval Anglican church in Winchester, Hampshire. It is the seat of the Bishop of Winchester.

The cathedral has the longest nave and overall length of any Gothic cathedral in Europe.[1] By contrast, it is about half the height of Beauvais Cathedral in France.


Built between 1079 and 1532, Winchester Cathedral has had an unusual architectural history. The exterior, apart from the modified windows, gives the impression of a massive Norman building and indeed, when first completed, the Norman Cathedral was second only in size to Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. However, the west front is now Perpendicular, with its huge window filled with fragments of medieval glass. Inside, only the crypt and the transepts have retained their Norman appearance. The spectacular Perpendicular nave with its tall arcade arches and strong vertical emphasis has been literally carved out of the original Norman interior. The Very Rev. Sykes wrote of it “Well might the visitor who enters … by the west door gasp with amazement".[2] Winchester is also famous for its carved wooden fittings of many different periods.[1]


Important events which took place at Winchester Cathedral include:

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Alec Clifton-Taylor 1967. The Cathedrals of England Thames & Hudson, London.
  2. Sykes N. A pictorial history of Winchester Cathedral.
  3. Park Honan 1987. Jane Austen: her life. St. Martin's Press, New York, p407. ISBN 0-312-01451-1