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Do you have a particular interest that you'd like to explore in more detail? Join one of the Special Tours and discover the Cathedral with an expert guide.

Admission to the tours listed below are included with a valid General Admission Ticket but pre-booking is essential.

Book early to avoid dissapointment as these tours are expected to sell out.

Read on to discover more about the upcoming special tours.

Curious and Mysterious Tour – Wednesday 13th July 1.30pm. 

Mystifying Cathedral puzzles or secrets, ancient and modern, will be revealed on this tour. The tour covers mysteries spanning some 700 years, often obscured by the mists of time. A range of delights are featured, such as moving tombs, an unofficial high-profile burial, First World War personal benevolence with world changing results, disasters at sea and “what’s in a name”.

Click here to book the Curious and Mysterious Tour.

 

Art in the Cathedral -Wednesday 20th July 1.30pm.

Winchester Cathedral is rich in art objects, some from hundreds of years ago. More recent works include pieces by well known artists such as Peter Eugene Ball, Cecil Collins, Eric Gill, Antony Gormley and Justin Knowles, as well as local artists Sophie Hacker, Tim Harrisson, Alice Kettle, Tracey Sheppard – and many more. This tour enables visitors to enjoy a close-up interaction with a number of these works, within the context of this very special, time-honoured place.

Click here to book the Art in the Cathedral Tour.

 

The Winchester Diver -Wednesday 27th July 1.30pm.

One of the most fascinating stories around Winchester Cathedral is that of William Walker, “the diver who saved the Cathedral with his own hands”. In the early years of the 20th century, alarming defects appeared in the east end of the Cathedral and desperate measures were needed to safeguard it for the future. In the end the hero of the day was William Walker, who worked in atrocious and dangerous conditions for over 5 years. The tour will describe in detail this unique project, one of the greatest engineering preservation feats of its time. Evidence still visible will be highlighted both within and outside the Cathedral, as will the commemorative statues to William Walker, a truly remarkable man.

Click here to book The Winchester Diver Tour.

 

Green Men – Wednesday 27th July 1.30pm.

The term “Green Men” was only brought into use in 1939, but their existence goes back many years and actually predates Christianity. They are a carver’s device, rarely found in glass or in illuminated manuscripts and they were particularly popular in the 14th century. There are over 70 examples in the Cathedral although some are difficult to spot, and on the tour we shall look at several different types of Green Men, including one for which Winchester is rightly famous.

Click here to book the Green Men Tour.

 

This Royal House of Saxon Kings and Saints – Wednesday 3rd August 1.30pm.

Return to the roots of the Kingdom of England. Visit the Anglo-Saxon Minster and learn about its role in the birth of the English nation, the historic figures who ruled, reigned and are remembered here, and the traces of their world which remain visible today. Part of the tour is outside on slightly uneven ground and suitable clothing and footwear should be worn.

Click here to book The Royal House of Saxon Kings and Saints Tour.

 

Close Encounters Exploring the Close – Wednesday 3rd August 1.30pm.

Walk the Inner Close in the footsteps of Benedictine monks and explore over 1000 years of history. From monastic times, through the turbulence of the Civil War, up to the present day. Enjoy ‘Close Encounters’ with the people who lived in and walked through the Close and step briefly into their lives.

Click here to book the Close Encounters Exploring the Close Tour.

 

Cathedral Women -Wednesday 10th August 1.30pm.

Famous, reforming, talented, artistic, professional, all at the top of their fields – our latest selection of women for this tour introduces more Cathedral personalities. Your tour may include the woman who electrified the Cathedral and later many large properties in Great Britain and two women with close relationships to the crypt. One a Queen, a close friend of Queen Victoria and the other a woman who was awarded an MBE by the King for fostering female migration, which led to increased membership of the Anglican church in the British Empire! This tour, does not feature Jane Austen, as she has her own ‘Jane Austen – Her Life and Times’ tour.

Click here to book the Cathedral Women Tour.

 

Glass -Wednesday 24th August 1.30pm

Although Winchester Cathedral does not have a special reputation for its stained glass, it nevertheless contains a wealth of coloured glass spanning nearly seven centuries, and almost all of the medieval glass has recently been conserved.  Visitors will see examples of the three different types of coloured glass, stained, painted and pot metal. Craftsmen have used all three methods to produce a huge variety of religious and secular images that greatly enhance the Cathedral. Although not essential, binoculars might be helpful.

Click here to book the Glass Tour.

 

Literary Links -Wednesday 31st August 1.30pm.

On this tour you will discover some of the many literary links we have in the Cathedral, including ‘literary legends’ who are buried here and other writers with memorials. The building itself has inspired novelists such as Thomas Hardy and most recently Tracy Chevalier. Medieval conflict, Tudor intrigue and Victorian scandal have provided writers with some great material. Come and learn about these literary connections and listen to extracts spanning over four hundred years of Literature from Shakespeare to Hilary Mantel.

Click here to book the Literary Links Tour.

 

Close Encounters Exploring the Close -Wednesday 31st August 1.30pm.

Walk the Inner Close in the footsteps of Benedictine monks and explore over 1000 years of history. From monastic times, through the turbulence of the Civil War, up to the present day. Enjoy ‘Close Encounters’ with the people who lived in and walked through the Close and step briefly into their lives.

Click here to book the Close Encounters Exploring the Close Tour.

 

Heroes and Villains -Wednesday 7th September 1.30pm.

Who fled the Cathedral in a dung-cart? Who refused lodgings to Charles II’s mistress? Who owned the hoof of a griffin? Find out about the great, the good and the occasionally ghastly men and one woman whose fascinating stories are told in this tour.

Click here to book the Heroes and Villains Tour.

 

Pestilence, Penitence and Putrefaction – Wednesday 14th September 1.30pm.

For nearly 1400 years, those associated with the Cathedral in Winchester have played an important part in the care of the sick and management of disease. This tour recounts the history of medicine in relation to the structure of the present Cathedral and the people commemorated within it.

Click here to book the Pestilence, Penitence and Putrefaction Tour.

 

Jane Austen: Her Life & Times – Wednesday 14th September 1.30pm.

Jane Austen died in Winchester in 1817, in rented rooms in College Street. She knew and loved the Cathedral and is buried in the north aisle. Her funeral was probably arranged by her brother Henry who had been ordained shortly before her death. This tour offers visitors an intimate and often amusing insight into her life and connections with the Cathedral.

Click here to book the Jane Austen Tour.

 

Wood – Wednesday 21st September 1.30pm.

This tour explores the exceptional riches of the Cathedral’s woodwork, ancient and modern. It considers the indispensable role of wood in the construction and preservation of the building and we discover wood furnishings and decoration as far back as the 12th century. The highlight of the tour is a look in some detail at one of the Cathedral’s greatest treasures, the 14th century quire stalls, described as “the most beautiful in Northern Europe”.

Click here to book the Wood Tour.

 

Face The Music – Wednesday 5th October 1.30pm.

‘Face the Music’ includes background musical history and examines aspects of music within the Cathedral. There are three types of visual clues: firstly, images in stone, wood, glass and embroidery reflecting ‘heavenly harmony’; secondly memorials and graffiti referring to specific musical personalities; and thirdly, place and objects with musical functions such as the organ or the Treasury.

Click here to book the Face The Music Tour.

 

Tudor Intrigue in Turbulent Times – Wednesday 5th October 1.30pm.

The religious upheavals of the Reformation, the cultural revolution of the Renaissance and the powerful personalities of the Tudor monarchs have all left their mark on Winchester Cathedral. Come and see this fascinating period of history brought to life.

Click here to book the Tudor Intrigue in Turbulent Times.

 

Just Williams -Wednesday 26th October 1.30pm.

Learn about the many illustrious or in some cases lesser-known men called William who have played significant roles as creators, saviours and even destroyers during the long history of this Cathedral.

Click here to book the Just Williams Tour.

 

Stitched and WovenWednesday 26th October 1.30pm.

With few exceptions, all the vestments, cushions and altar frontals, were made between the late nineteenth century and the present day. Amongst earlier examples are some pieces of Spanish work believed to have been used at the marriage of Queen Mary in 1554. The vestments include a treasured set designed by Ninian Comper over a century ago. Sets of cushions and the altar frontals complement the glass and stonework throughout the Cathedral. The beautiful embroidered cushions and kneelers in the Quire are the work of Miss Louisa Pesel assisted by her friend Miss Sybil Blunt and 200 volunteer broderers. Much interest has been shown in them recently since they featured in Tracy Chevalier’s recently published novel ‘A Single Thread’.

Click here to book the Stitched and Woven Tour.