(active around 1079 in Winchester)

Interior view

begun 1079
Cathedral, Winchester, Hampshire

In Winchester, Bishop Walkelyn (1070-98), who had been the king's chaplain, started work on a new cathedral in 1079. It was built from scratch. On a hill above the River Itchen, Walkelyn built what was at the time the largest church in northern Europe, until Cluny III. In 1093, the Benedictine monks were able to move into the completed east section. The church was completed in about 1120.

The façade, which was guarded by two towers, was connected to a nave and aisles with eleven bays. The most impressive part is the transept, incorporating new continental ideas. It was redesigned in about 1085, giving it side aisles, so that the aisles to either side of the nave continued into the wings of the transept. Towers - two at either end of the transept were intended to be temporary alternatives to a crossing tower. The choir, raised above a powerful crypt in several parts, also had side aisles. The end of the choir was surrounded by a semi-circular ambulatory, and an apse-like Lady Chapel was attached to its rectangular termination.

You can view the reconstruction of the cathedral, built by Walkelyn, begun 1079, and the ground plan.

The photo shows the transept, which was almost untouched by the later Gothic alterations at the end of the twelfth century. It gives one the opportunity to experience the imposing power of the large high Romanesque buildings.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.