Winchester Cathedral

Jan Leeming

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Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 13th May 2013


I last visited Winchester Cathedral when I was in my twenties. I had a boyfriend whose great friend was the son of the Architect to the Dean and Chapter – a Mr. Carpenter Turner who lived in the magnificent Close. I remember that lunch so well because Mr. Carpenter Turner realised how interested I was in history etc. and offered to give me a private conducted tour of the Cathedral. He took me up high – not sure whether it was the Clerestory or the Triforium. (Today the public can go to the Triforium because it is at this level that the Winchester Bible is housed).

He showed me how the restorers were taking the Frescoes off the Walls onto silk so that the plaster could be repaired and then the Frescoes could be reinstated onto the walls. He also explained how they were trying to replicate the floor tiles so that they could replace them in the areas of damage. In fact he gave me one of the reproductions which had a Fleur de Lys but through my various moves it has disappeared.

He also told me the story of the ‘Diver’ who spent years under water shoring up the foundations of the Cathedral. I was absolutely thrilled with the private view – never ever thinking that one day I should be so closely involved with a Cathedral – our wonderful one in Canterbury.

So, back to my recent visit. There are not many Cathedrals that can match Canterbury but Winchester really does come a very close second – it has some architectural features which are better than ours at Canterbury and some which don’t quite compare. But it is a fascinating edifice to explore. Were I still living in Buckinghamshire, I’d certainly pay a regular visit. You can never take in all that a Cathedral offers in one visit. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the more you visit, the more you uncover and the more you want to visit. So it is a ‘vicious’ circle.

I cannot begin to do justice to a description of the Cathedral. I will put up some photos for you but, if you want to know more, I suggest you go on line.

I spent about 2 hours in the Cathedral and had hardly scratched the surface of what it has to offer. Sadly the Winchester Bible is not available to view on Mondays so I shall have to go back. It is a object of absolute magnificence being worked in pure gold and lapis luzuli.

My visit was made complete by a woman who stood in front of me and said ‘Jan, I read about you doing assistant guiding at Canterbury Cathedral and that inspired me and here I am – a Guide’. That really made me feel proud. We are a band of people who feel passionately about our Cathedrals and spreading the word to members of the public is a great pleasure.

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