Access and interpretation

The Cathedral’s rich history can be missed by visitors. An ambitious plan to transform the south transept into a three-level exhibition space will greatly enhance the experience of people visiting the Cathedral. The project will relocate the Winchester Bible to the ground floor and see two new exhibitions created, ‘Decoding of the Stones’ about the Cathedral and its development and ‘Birth of a Nation’ exploring our royal and Saxon heritage.

Access and Interpretation Projects
Estimated Cost: £6.6 million

Reordering and Improving Access to the South Transept and Triforium

Currently only 10% of our visitors get to see the Winchester Bible. It is our ambition to restore the ground floor of the south transept to create a suitable exhibition space with level access for the Winchester Bible and provide disabled access to the wonderful spaces on the upper levels.

Winchester Bible

Winchester Cathedral is home to a world class, illuminated 12th century bible which rivals the Book of Kells in its significance. We plan to move the four volumes of the Bible to the ground floor and create a new exhibition to help interpret it. In its new location and with contemporary graphic and audio visual displays, the Bible will be vastly more accessible, meaning all our visitors can discover it.

Decoding the Stones

This exhibition will tell the story of the Cathedral itself, unlocking the mysteries of how and why it was created. It will link the modern restoration works and contemporary craftspeople with the medieval craftspeople who originally built the Cathedral. Visitors will meet important characters associated with the Cathedral’s history and learn about the past in a tangible way.

Birth of a Nation

From the time of Alfred the Great until after the Norman Conquest, Winchester was England’s capital and the Cathedral was its royal chapel. Mortuary chests, believed to contain the remains of early English kings, queens and bishops, rest on top of the Presbytery screens and are potent relics of that era. We want to create an exhibition that brings the stories of these early monarchs vividly to life and cements Winchester as the site of the birth of the English nation.

We are still developing our plans and projects and so the cost given is indicative. We will keep the website updated as we make progress.


Find out more

Our newsletter, Illumination contains information about the development of our Capital works project.