"ST. SWITHUN'S GATE - 8" Top 5 Page for this destination Winchester Things to Do Tip by balhannah
Winchester Things to Do: 125 reviews and 246 photos
I spent a considerable amount of time in Winchester Cathedral and on heading out, I chose to walk to St. Swithin street, which is where I came across the imposing St. Swithun Gate/Kings Gate/Priory Gate, all the names you may hear it called. It was built along the line of the Roman City Wall that surrounded the city and was mentioned in the Winchester Domesday Book in 1148.
St. Swithin's Gate is diferent, as above the gate is the Church of St. Swithin's. I thought this Church was unique, but evidently not so in Medieval times, as many Churches were built over Gate's, but not many have survived till today, they are quite rare now!
During Medieval times, travellers and pilgrims would visit the little Church to give thanks for a safe journey, and before literacy was common, people would have used its wall paintings, statues, and other features as aids to their thanksgiving prayer.
Hard to imagine Pig's in an upstairs Church, but it is true! The Porter of the Gate in 1660, kept his Pig's in the Church!!
Some other thought's on the Church are that it was used for lay people who worked for the Abbey in medieval times. The statues that once stood, were removed by Cromwell?s reformers.
The Church did fall into dis-repair, and in 1677, with all the repairs done, Bell hung, it was back to its old glory!
Services are still held in this little, old Church.
It is reached by the covered staircase, but is only open mainly for services.
Address: St. Swithin street, Winchester
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