to Southampton. WINCHESTER. 11. Route. 79
The cathedral is dedicated to SS. Peter and Paul and the Holy
Trinity; the choir is also popularly supposed to be dedicated to St.
Swithin (day, July 15th), whose traditionary connection with the
weather is ascribed to the unhistoric legend that the removal of his
body to the shrine prepared for it was delayed for 40 days by rain.
The Interior of the church is very impressive owing to the beauty of
its proportions, the great length of the Nave, and the fine groining (lately
restored at a cost of 12,000?.). Visitors should notice the remaining traces
of Walkelin's Norman nave. Thus the unwontedly massive piers are
substantially the original Norman piers with the surface moulded into
a different style. One of the most characteristic features of Winchester
is its fine "Chantry Chapels, most of which were founded by Bishops of
Winchester between 1350 and 1527. The most interesting of all is that
of Bishop William of Wykeham, designed by himself (1366-1404), in the fifth
hay on the S. side of the nave; and the nave also contains that of Bishop
Edington (p. 78). On the wall of the N. aisle, nearly opposite the chantry
of William of Wykeham, is a brass tablet to the memory of Jane Austen
(1775-1817), who is buried beneath the pavement in front of it. In the
next bay of the N. aisle is the ancient sculptured Font, in black marble,
dating from the 12th century. At the W. end of the N. aisle is a Cantoria,
or singing gallery. Much of the old stained glass was destroyed by the
Puritans, but that in the "W. Window dates in part from 1350. The
carved pulpit was brought from New College, Oxford.
The Transepts are the oldest part of the church as it now stands, and
show the Norman work of Bishop Walkelin almost untouched (1079-93).
They represent exactly what the nave was before its conversion. The
later Norman work, necessitated by the fall of the tower early in the
12th cent., is easily recognized by its finer jointing. The S. arm con¬
tains memorials of Bishop Wilberforce (d. 1873) and of Izaak Walton (d. 1683;
in the Silkstede Chapel), whose memory is indissolubly associated with
the Itchen and other streams of the neighbourhood. The mural paint¬
ings in the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, in the N. transept, are curious,
though much damaged by past neglect (13th cent.).
The Choir is separated from the nave by an oaken screen, designed
by Sir G. G. Scott. On passing it we are struck with the immense
thickness of the piers supporting the tower, which owe their unusual
solidity to a desire to prevent a repetition of the fate of the first tower,
which fell soon after its erection. Under the tower is the tomb of an
ecclesiastic, which used to be said to hold the bones of William Rufus
(d. 1100). The oaken "Stalls of 1296, darkened with age, are richly carved.
The pulpit was presented by Prior Silkstede in 1498, but the bishop's
throne is modern. The painted glass of the "E. Window dates from about
1620. Prolonging the choir towards the E. is the Presbytery, containing
a fine reredos of the 15th cent, (restored). The marriage of Queen Mary
with Philip of Spain was celebrated here in 1554, and the chair preserved
in Bishop Langton's chapel (see p. 80) is supposed by some to he that in
which she sat during that ceremony. The presbytery is enclosed at the
sides by handsome stone screens (1500-1525), upon which lie six richly
coloured wooden mortuary chests, containing the bones of Ethelwolf,
Egbert, Canute, William Rufus, and other kings, preserved from the old
cathedral. The identity of most of the skeletons has been lost.
Behind the reredos is the Feretory, a raised platform for the shrines of
the patron saints of the cathedral. The E. end of the feretory is adorned
with fine tabernacle-work, and in the middle is the entrance to a vault
called the Holy Hole, probably a receptacle for relics. To the right and
left (N. and S.) of the feretory are the chantries of Bishops Gardiner (1555)
and Fox (1528), and farther to the E. those of Bishop S. Waynflete (1447-86)
and Cardinal Beaufort (d. 1447). Between the last two is the site of the
once famous Shrine of St. Swithin (see above).
The part of the cathedral to the E. of the feretory, including the aisles,
is mostly in the E.E. style, and the work of Bishop Godfrey de Lucy