If you had been in Winchester in 2009 you may have been fortunate enough to get your hands on the highly acclaimed ‘Winchester – Heart of a City’. It was not just another book about Winchester, but a unique, absorbing and beautiful source of information about the City’s Conservation Area. The text was the outcome of years of preparation by Andrew Rutter, who was Winchester’s first Conservation Officer. As Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, the first Chairman of English Heritage said:
Andrew Rutter’s meticulous study of the city to which he devoted much of his working life, and the honest way in which he sets out both successes and failures, is a credit to his architect’s eye and his planner’s overview, which have both been supported by his ability to draw. It is good to have many of his sketches, originally produced to assist the City Council in reaching decisions, alongside the wealth of historic illustration in the book. An additional pleasure comes from the watercolour illustrations by Keith Leaman of the Trust, which emphasise the often overlooked importance of the setting of a city. Winchester is unusually blessed by its intimate relationship with the surrounding countryside, which can be seen from many of its streets, and from which one can look down into the City without the interruption of careless modern development.
The book has never been republished and second hand copies are difficult to track down. So we were delighted to discover that this year, to mark its 60th anniversary, The City of Winchester Trust is publishing an electronic version. Like the original, the e-book consists of 400 pages with over 500 photographs, drawings and paintings and so is well worth getting if you love Winchester and care about its future. It is available as a PDF file for viewing on a computer or tablet (the book uses compressed images for computer viewing to reduce its overall size). To buy your copy today click here