Winchester Cathedral is a living monument to the heritage of England and is one of the most historically significant buildings in Britain. From the time of Alfred the Great until after the Norman Conquest, Winchester and the Cathedral was its royal chapel. Much of England’s early history was based here and twelve English kings are believed to be buried here – meaning that Winchester can lay claim to being the first Royal Mausoleum.
The opening of Kings and Scribes: The Birth of a Nation in 2019 marked the culmination of an ambitious seven-year project to unlock the Cathedral’s stories and treasures by inspiring active engagement in the interpretation and exploration of our heritage.
Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other generous supporters, a spectacular three-level exhibition space in the South Transept takes visitors through over 1,000 years of history, whilst offering awe-inspiring views of the Cathedral.
The birth of a nation
Winchester played a unique role in shaping early English history and Old Minster, the Anglo-Saxon Cathedral, lay at the centre of its foundation. Join us on an intriguing journey of discovery as we unearth the secrets hidden within the Cathedral’s mortuary chests, meet influential Anglo-Saxon kings in the city from which they ruled and discover the role of Winchester’s Anglo-Saxon and Norman Cathedrals in the birth of a nation.
Decoding the stones
Unlock the mysteries of Winchester Cathedral, a building which has been created, destroyed and remade over centuries of struggle and Civil War. Decoding the Stones tells the story of the Cathedral itself, linking modern restoration works and contemporary craftspeople with their medieval predecessors.
Opening times (Subject to volunteer availability)
29th May – The cathedral will be closed all day but will remain open for services and worship.
3rd June – The cathedral will be closed all day but will remain open for services and worship.
Kings and Scribes
20th May – Closing at the earlier time of 3:45pm.
29th May – Full day closure.
3rd June – Full day closure.
6th June – Open from 12:30pm.
There are currently no further upcoming closures listed.
Please ensure to check the website regularly for any closure updates.
Please note that the exhibition may need to close at short notice in response to an insufficient number of available stewards. Apologies in advance for any inconvenience caused.
This exhibition has enclosed spaces. For the protection of others we encourage you to wear a face-covering in these areas.
Occasionally for services, special events and steward availability it is necessary to close Kings and Scribes: The Birth of a Nation. Please check the closures page in advance of your visit.