Festival Spotlights

Celebrating Winchester’s architecture

You may have heard of London Open House, a weekend when the general public can explore hundreds of inspiring buildings in the city. Well here in Winchester we are aiming to just the same. We might not quite have hundreds of buildings opening this year, but we are not far off with more than 70! Here are just some of the architectural highlights our event organisers have planned, which also happen to be the latest entries in our festival countdown!

Event Description
Kingsgate – A Walk Through Time This walking tour takes in Wolvesey Palace, site of the medieval palace of the bishops of Winchester, continues down College Street past the College and the house where Jane Austen spent her last months, and ends with Kingsgate Arch and the 13th century church of St Swithun above.
Old Hyde House, ADAM Architecture offices Built on part of the original 12th century Hyde Abbey Precinct, Old Hyde House is Grade II* listed and has served many uses over the years. Visitors will be given a guided tour of the offices, hear the building’s rich history and see remnants of the old buildings that still exist today. Unsuitable for children under 15yrs.
Oram’s Arbour: a walking tour (Thursday session fully booked but see bookings page about a 2nd tour) A guided walking tour with local architect, George Saumarez Smith, describing the district around Oram’s Arbour. The walk will explore how it has changed since medieval times and how the area to the west was developed around West End Terrace.
Peninsula Barracks: a walking tour Join local architect Huw Thomas on a guided tour of the  Peninsula Barracks and discover the history behind  this five acre site.  Huw will regale you with tales of  executions, ghosts, mass graves, bloody 13th  century  battles, and his very own battle to save the buildings from demolition  in the 1980’s.

UPDATE as of 23rd August – please register if you plan to attend by ringing Huw’s office 01962 856169

Pilgrim’s Hall In the early Middle Ages and until 1539, the cathedral church of Winchester formed part of St Swithun’s Priory.  Inside were a number of relics and the shrine of St Swithun of Winchester (d.862) which attracted many devout pilgrims.  The Pilgrims’ Hall is where these visitors were offered hospitality.
Serle’s House A rare chance to see inside this 18th century building built in the English Baroque style. Join a guided tour to see the staircase, reception rooms and period items and paintings from both the military and Hampshire County Council collections.

If you join or more of the above tours, or visit any of the buildings in this year’s Heritage Open Days don’t forget to take some photographs and we’d be delighted if you decided to share the best ones with us for our photo competition.

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