Delving deeper into the historic collections of Winchester Cathedral

Welcome to our blog, Curious about Collections. Each month, we showcase some of the most interesting pieces from our historic collections, as well as highlight the work we do behind the scenes to protect and preserve our heritage for future generations.

Winchester Cathedral is home to a rich and diverse array of artefacts, some of which date from our earliest foundations. Our collections range from Anglo-Saxon stone sculpture to illuminated medieval manuscripts; rare textiles to printed books, intricate metalwork, woodwork, fine art, and much besides. They include objects of great symbolic and religious significance, artistic beauty and historical importance.

Today, when our visitors come to Winchester Cathedral, they are able to view many objects from our collections as they move through the main body of the Cathedral, in addition to those objects which appear on display within our permanent Kings & Scribes exhibition.

The books and artefacts within our collections help us to better understand our shared history. They contain stories about the history of the Cathedral and its people – who they were, what they thought, how the fabric of the building has changed over time and what this might suggest about the contemporary socio-cultural and economic situation of the period.

Yet what makes Cathedral collections so interesting and different from those of a museum is that, in many instances, the objects continue to play an integral role in the day-to-day work and ministry of the Cathedral. Our collections are central to liturgical practice and ritual. They inspire awe and wonder; they prompt us to reflect, perhaps, on moments in our own lives, to remember those who have died, but also to celebrate the joy of human skill and ingenuity.

There is much to see and explore – but much more which, for conservation reasons, we cannot always display as we would wish. That is why we are excited by the opportunity Curious about Collections presents to share more of our collections and our work with you.

See below for published blogs.