Chez WW in England

Chez WW in England

Slideshow Widget

Winchester, England

05 June 2012

Winchester was added to our farewell tour for a few reasons. Jane Austen's grave and the Winchester Bible (no pictures were allowed of this stunning masterpiece). I would have loved to explore this beautiful town more but it was another rainy, windy and cold day. Our warm clothes had been already packed and was on a boat going to Canada. We did not think that we would need warm clothes in June. We were wrong.

The area that is now Winchester was once an Iron Age defended settlement. In Roman times it was the Roman town of Venta Belgarum.

Winchester is home to one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. Winchester Cathedral is a stunning display of Gothic architecture. The modern cathedral was completed in 1079. Limestone was used from the Isle of Wight as well as more local stones. The stones were transported to the building site via the old Roman roads. Winchester Cathedral was used as a location in The Da Vinci Code.

The Winchester Bible is a Romanesque Illuminated manuscript that was produced in Winchester between 1160 and 1175. At that time Winchester was a monastery. The bible is the largest surviving 12th century English bible. It is contains 468 leaves made of calf skin parchment. It took the hides of more than 250 calves to make the bible. Nearly the entire manuscript was written by one scribe. The illuminations are not completed. The bible was probably commissioned by the grandson of William the Conquer, Henry of Blois who was Bishop of Winchester. Precious and semi-precious stones and metals were used in the bible, including gold and lapis lazuli.

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