After defeating King Harold's army at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William the Conqueror marched to Winchester, the capital of Wessex, to secure the Saxon Treasury. Harold's widow, who was in residence at Winchester, surrendered the town to William and his army. The Conqueror ordered the rebuilding of the Saxon royal palace and the construction of a new castle to the west of the town.
In 1079 the Norman Bishops demolished the old Saxon Minster and started the construction of the new Cathedral in the Romanesque style. Throughout the early Middle Ages, Winchester's importance as a significant royal and cultural centre was reaffirmed, as witnessed by the number of royal births, deaths and marriages in the palace. Your host and guide is author, historian and broadcaster Julian Humphrys, and guest speaker Dr Tracy Borman, Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust and Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, will give a presentation.
Visits include Winchester Cathedral, a guided walking tour of historic Winchester, a viewing of the remains of the old Minster, Wolvesey's Castle, Winchester College, the Saxon Royal Palace and Portchester Castle, which was built within a former Roman fort in the northern end of Portsmouth Harbour. Visits also include Old Sarum and the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral, home to one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta.
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