History Group – 1st March


For our February meeting we welcomed Andrew Negus talking on the history of Winchester Part 1!  His talk took us from 70AD until the 1300’s, with promises of more to come!  He told us of the humble and caring Bishop Swithun who was very much loved as the Bishop of Winchester from 855 until his death in 862.  More than a hundred years after his death his body was transferred from it’s almost forgotten grave to a new basilica inside the Old Minster.  The pious Bishop would not have wanted such ornate surroundings or ceremony; indeed he wanted to be buried outdoors to feel the rain.  And so was born the British weather lore, which says that if it rains on St Swithun’s day, 15 July, it will rain for 40 days!

 

No talk on Winchester would be complete without a mention of King Alfred, but did you know that he was our first King to have the idea of a Royal Navy; he thought it would be far better for us to kill the enemy before they get to land!!

 

The river was moved by the Romans to help them set out their city Venta Belgarum, the High Street remains the oldest Roman High Street in Great Britain.

 

The original Anglo Saxon name was Venta Caester, in time this was changed to Wintan Caester and then corrupted to Winchester.  Winchester Cathedral is the longest medieval cathedral in the world.  There is so much history right on our doorstep we were well and truly spoiled with all that Winchester has to offer and look forward to part 2 next year!

 

For our next meeting on Tuesday, 1st March we look forward to welcoming David Lester and his talk on HM Monitor M33, a unique ship in the Gallipoli campaign, this vessel can be seen at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. There will also be the chance to purchase a magazine for £3.99 relating to the scuttle boat.

 

The meeting starts at 7.30 pm as always at the Waltham Chase Methodist Church Hall, we hope to see you there, just £2.50 on the door, which includes refreshments following the talk.

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