Last year Winchester Cathedral succeeded in their bid for a grant of £10.5 million Heritage Lottery Fund. That was good news.
Becoming a ‘friend’ of the cathedral I have recently been catching up with what is happening now as well as plans for the future as explained by Illumination, their development update.
With donations now totalling £15 million it remains to raise another £4.25 million to reach the ultimate target so any support is welcome. Much work has begun and I enjoyed a fascinating tour of The Winchester Bible recently. This twelfth-century illuminated Bible is currently undergoing conservation and rebinding volume by volume. It will then be moved to the south transept at ground level where it will be accessible to all.
The Birth of a Nation exhibition
The Birth of a Nation exhibition will focus on the six mortuary chests. Much interesting study has already been done on these chests and advice will be taken as to how best to conserve them. Four chests date from approximately 1525. After damage in 1642 by the Parliamentary army, two more chests were made in 1661 and work on them continued thereafter. Modern forensic technology will hopefully resolve questions about the contents of the chests and our early English kings.
The Learning Centre will be sited behind Number 9 The Close and will provide excellent facilities for children and groups. A modern Apothecary’s Garden, complete with Apothecary’s Rose, is to be created alongside.
The Presbytery roof has to be replaced to prevent puddles and further water damage. Much conservation of timbers and windows containing medieval glass is scheduled during the next four years. The is so much to be tackled in this wonderful challenge.
I do urge you to see for yourselves what is going on in this historic building.