St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is an Anglican cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London. It is a Grade I listed building, its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. The present cathedral, dating from the late 17th century, was designed in the English Baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren, its construction, completed in Wren's lifetime, was part of a major rebuilding programme in the City after the Great Fire of London. The cathedral building destroyed in the Great Fire, now referred to as Old St Paul's Cathedral, was a central focus for medieval and early modern London, including Paul's walk and St. Paul's Churchyard being the site of St. Paul's Cross; the cathedral is one of the most recognisable sights of London. Its dome, framed by the spires of Wren's City churches, has dominated the skyline for over 300 years. At 365 feet high, it was the tallest building in London from 1710 to 1967; the dome is among the highest in the world.
St Paul's is the second-largest church building in area in the United Kingdom after Liverpool Cathedral. Services held at St Paul's have included the funerals of Admiral Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, Sir Winston Churchill and Baroness Thatcher. St Paul's Cathedral is the central subject of much promotional material, as well as of images of the dome surrounded by the smoke and fire of the Blitz; the cathedral is a working church with daily services. The tourist entry fee at the door is £ 20 for adults. A list of the 16 "archbishops" of London was recorded by Jocelyn of Furness in the 12th century, claiming London's Christian community was founded in the 2nd century under the legendary King Lucius and his missionary saints Fagan, Deruvian and Medwin. None of, considered credible by modern historians but, although the surviving text is problematic, either Bishop Restitutus or Adelphius at the 314 Council of Arles seems to have come from Londinium; the location of Londinium's original cathedral is unknown.
Bede records that in AD 604 Augustine of Canterbury consecrated Mellitus as the first bishop to the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the East Saxons and their king, Sæberht. Sæberht's uncle and overlord, Æthelberht, king of Kent, built a church dedicated to St Paul in London, as the seat of the new bishop, it is assumed, although not proved, that this first Anglo-Saxon cathedral stood on the same site as the medieval and the present cathedrals. On the death of Sæberht in about 616, his pagan sons expelled Mellitus from London, the East Saxons reverted to paganism; the fate of the first cathedral building is unknown. Christianity was restored among the East Saxons in the late 7th century and it is presumed that either the Anglo-Saxon cathedral was restored or a new building erected as the seat of bishops such as Cedd and Earconwald, the last of whom was buried in the cathedral in 693; this building, or a successor, was rebuilt in the same year. King Æthelred the Unready was buried in the cathedral on his death in 1016.
The cathedral was burnt, with much of the city, in a fire in 1087, as recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. The present structure of St Peter upon Cornhill was designed by Christopher Wren following the Great Fire of London in 1666, it stands upon the highest point in the area of old Londinium, medieval legends tie it to the city's earliest Christian community. In 1995, however, a large and ornate 5th-century building on Tower Hill was excavated, which might have been the city's cathedral; the Elizabethan antiquarian William Camden argued that a temple to the goddess Diana had stood during Roman times on the site occupied by the medieval St Paul's Cathedral. Wren reported that he had found no trace of any such temple during the works to build the new cathedral after the Great Fire, Camden's hypothesis is no longer accepted by modern archaeologists; the fourth St Paul's referred to as Old St Paul's, was begun by the Normans after the 1087 fire. A further fire in 1136 disrupted the work, the new cathedral was not consecrated until 1240.
During the period of construction, the style of architecture had changed from Romanesque to Gothic and this was reflected in the pointed arches and larger windows of the upper parts and East End of the building. The Gothic ribbed vault was constructed, like that of York Minster, of wood rather than stone, which affected the ultimate fate of the building. An enlargement programme commenced in 1256. This'New Work' was consecrated in 1300 but not complete until 1314. During the Medieval period St Paul's was exceeded in length only by the Abbey Church of Cluny and in the height of its spire only by Lincoln Cathedral and St. Mary's Church, Stralsund. Excavations by Francis Penrose in 1878 showed that it was 100 feet wide; the spire was about 489 feet in height. By the 16th century the building was starting to decay. After the Protestant Reformation under Henry VIII and Edward VI, the Dissolution of the Monasteries and Chantries Acts led to the destruction of interior ornamentation and the cloisters, crypts, shrines and other buildings in St Paul's Churchyard.
Many of these former Catholic
Gloucester is a city and district in Gloucestershire, in the South West of England, of which it is the county town. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the southwest. Gloucester was founded in AD 97 by the Romans under Emperor Nerva as Colonia Glevum Nervensis, was granted its first charter in 1155 by King Henry II. Economically, the city is dominated by the service industries, has a strong financial and business sector, it was prominent in the aerospace industry. The origins of the name Gloucester are related to its name in modern Welsh; the name'caerloyw' is composed of two parts: caer and'loyw', a linguistic mutation of'gloyw', meaning bright or shining. The name Gloucester thus means "bright fort". There are various appellations of the city's name in history, such as Caer Glow, Gleucestre as an early British settlement is not confirmed by direct evidence. However, Gloucester was the Roman municipality of Colonia Nervia Glevensium, or Glevum, built in the reign of Nerva.
Parts of the walls can be traced, a number of remains and coins have been found, though inscriptions are scarce. In Historia Brittonum, a fabled account of the early rulers of Britain, Vortigern's grandfather, Gloiu, is given as the founder of Gloucester. Part of the foundations of Roman Gloucester can be seen today in Eastgate Street, while Roman tombstones and a range of other Roman artefacts can be seen in Gloucester City Museum. After the withdrawal on the Roman Empire in the late 4th Century the town returned to the control of Celtic Dubonni tribe. By the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Gloucester is shown as part of Wessex from the Battle of Deorham in 577. At some point after this battle, along with the rest of Gloucestershire excluding the Forest of Dean, Gloucester was part of the minor kingdom of the Hwicce. In 628, as a result of the Battle of Cirencester, the kingdom of the Hwicce became a client or sub-kingdom of Mercia. From about 780, the Hwicce region was no longer a kingdom in its own right and was under full Mercian control until, along with the rest of Mercia, it submitted to Alfred the Great in about 877-883.
The name Gloucester derives from the Anglo-Saxon for fort preceded by Celtic name, which derived from the Roman stem Glev-. Claudia Castra is mentioned in the 18th Century as possible Latin name related to the city. Gloucester was captured by the Saxons in 577, its situation on a navigable river, the foundation in 681 of the abbey of St Peter by Æthelred, favoured the growth of the town. In the early 10th century the remains of Saint Oswald were brought to a small church in Gloucester, bringing many pilgrims to the town; the core street layout is thought to date back to the reign of Ethelfleda in late Saxon times. In 1051 Edward the Confessor held court at Gloucester and was threatened there by an army led by Godwin, Earl of Wessex, but the incident resulted in a standoff rather than a battle. A unique coin, dated to 1077–80, was discovered, just north of the city, in November 2011, it features its place of minting. The Portable Antiquities Scheme said that, until the coin was discovered, there had been no known examples of William I coins minted in Gloucester in this period.
After the Norman Conquest, William Rufus made Robert Fitzhamon the first baron or overlord of Gloucester. Fitzhamon had a military base at Cardiff Castle, for the succeeding years the history of Gloucester was linked to that of Cardiff. During the Anarchy, Gloucester was a centre of support for the Empress Matilda, supported in her claim to the throne by her half-brother, Fitzhamon's grandson, Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester. After this period of strife ended with the ascent of her son Henry to the throne Henry II of England, Henry granted Robert possession of Cardiff Castle, it passed to Mathilda's son Robert Curthose and his son, William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester; the story of the Anarchy is vividly told in a series of nineteenth-century paintings by William Burges at the Castle. King Henry II granted Gloucester its first charter in 1155, which gave the burgesses the same liberties as the citizens of London and Winchester. A second charter of Henry II gave them freedom of passage on the River Severn.
The first charter was confirmed in 1194 by King Richard I. The privileges of the borough were extended by the charter of King John, which gave freedom from toll throughout the kingdom and from pleading outside the borough. In 1216 King Henry III, aged only ten years, was crowned with a gilded iron ring in the Chapter House of Gloucester Cathedral. Gloucester's significance in the Middle Ages is underlined by the fact that it had a number of monastic establishments, including St Peter's Abbey founded in 679, the nearby St Oswald's Priory, Gloucester founded in the 880s or 890s, Llanthony Secunda Priory, founded 1136 as a retreat for a community of Welsh monks, the Franciscan Greyfriars community founded in 1231, the Dominican Blackfriars community founded in 1239, it has some early churches including St Mary de Lode Church, Gloucester near the Cathedral and the Norman St Mary de Crypt Church, Gloucester in Southgate Street. Additionally, there is e
Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln Minster, or the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln and sometimes St Mary's Cathedral, in Lincoln, England, is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Lincoln. Construction continued in several phases throughout the medieval period. Like many of the medieval cathedrals of England it was built in the Gothic style, it was the tallest building in the world for 238 years, the first building to hold that title after the Great Pyramid of Giza. The central spire was not rebuilt. For hundreds of years the cathedral held one of the four remaining copies of the original Magna Carta, now securely displayed in Lincoln Castle; the cathedral is the fourth largest in the UK at around 5,000 square metres, after Liverpool, St Paul's and York Minster. It is regarded by architectural scholars. Remigius de Fécamp, the first Bishop of Lincoln, moved the episcopal seat there "some time between 1072 and 1092" About this, James Essex writes that "Remigius... laid the foundations of his Cathedral in 1072" and "it is probable that he, being a Norman, employed Norman masons to superintend the building... though he could not complete the whole before his death."
Before that, writes B. Winkles, "It is well known that Remigius appropriated the parish church of St Mary Magdalene in Lincoln, although it is not known what use he made of it." Up until St. Mary's Church in Stow was considered to be the "mother church" of Lincolnshire. However, Lincoln was more central to a diocese. Remigius built the first Lincoln Cathedral on the present site, finishing it in 1092 and dying on 7 May of that year, two days before it was consecrated. In 1124, the timber roofing was destroyed in a fire. Alexander rebuilt and expanded the cathedral, but it was destroyed by an earthquake about forty years in 1185; the earthquake was one of the largest felt in the UK: it has an estimated magnitude of over 5. The damage to the cathedral is thought to have been extensive: the Cathedral is described as having "split from top to bottom"; some have suggested that the damage to Lincoln Cathedral was exaggerated by poor construction or design. After the earthquake, a new bishop was appointed.
He was Hugh de Burgundy of Avalon, who became known as St Hugh of Lincoln. He began a massive expansion programme. With his appointment of William de Montibus as master of the cathedral school and chancellor, Lincoln became one of the leading educational centres in England, producing writers such as Samuel Presbiter and Richard of Wetheringsett, though it declined with importance after William's death in 1213. Rebuilding began with the choir and the eastern transepts between 1192 and 1210; the central nave was built in the Early English Gothic style. Lincoln Cathedral soon followed other architectural advances of the time — pointed arches, flying buttresses and ribbed vaulting were added to the cathedral; this allowed support for incorporating larger windows. There are thirteen bells in the south-west tower, two in the north-west tower, five in the central tower. Accompanying the cathedral's large bell, Great Tom of Lincoln, is a quarter-hour striking clock; the clock was installed in the early 19th century.
The two large stained glass rose windows, the matching Dean's Eye and Bishop's Eye, were added to the cathedral during the late Middle Ages. The former, the Dean's Eye in the north transept dates from the 1192 rebuild begun by St Hugh being completed in 1235; the latter, the Bishop's Eye, in the south transept was reconstructed a hundred years in 1330. A contemporary record, “The Metrical Life of St Hugh”, refers to the meaning of these two windows: "For north represents the devil, south the Holy Spirit and it is in these directions that the two eyes look; the bishop the dean the north in order to shun. With these Eyes the cathedral's face is on watch for the candelabra of Heaven and the darkness of Lethe." After the additions of the Dean's eye and other major Gothic additions it is believed some mistakes in the support of the tower occurred, for in 1237 the main tower collapsed. A new tower was soon started and in 1255 the Cathedral petitioned Henry III to allow them to take down part of the town wall to enlarge and expand the Cathedral, including the rebuilding of the central tower and spire.
They replaced the small rounded chapels with a larger east end to the cathedral. This was to handle the increasing number of pilgrims to the Cathedral, who came to worship at the shrine of Hugh of Lincoln. In 1290 Eleanor of Castile died and King Edward I of England decided to honour her, his Queen Consort, with an elegant funeral procession. After her body had been embalmed, which in the 13th century involved evisceration, Eleanor's viscera were bur
Exeter is a cathedral city in Devon, with a population of 129,800. The city is located on the River Exe 36 miles northeast of Plymouth and 65 miles southwest of Bristol, it is the county town of Devon, the base of Devon County Council. Situated in Exeter, are two campuses of the University of Exeter, Streatham Campus and St Luke's Campus. In Roman Britain, Exeter was established as the base of Legio II Augusta under the personal command of Vespasian. Exeter became a religious centre during the Middle Ages and into the Tudor times: Exeter Cathedral, founded in the mid 11th century, became Anglican during the 16th-century English Reformation. During the late 19th century, Exeter became an affluent centre for the wool trade, although by the First World War the city was in decline. After the Second World War, much of the city centre was rebuilt and is now considered to be a centre for modern business and tourism in Devon and Cornwall; the administrative area of Exeter has the status of a non-metropolitan district under the administration of the County Council.
The modern name of Exeter is a development of the Old English Escanceaster, from the anglicised form of the river now known as the Exe and the Old English suffix -ceaster, used to mark important fortresses or fortified towns. The name "Exe" is a separate development of the Brittonic name—meaning "water" or, more "full of fish" —that appears in the English Axe and Esk and the Welsh Usk. Exeter began as settlements on a dry ridge ending in a spur overlooking a navigable river teeming with fish, with fertile land nearby. Although there have been no major prehistoric finds, these advantages suggest the site was occupied early. Coins have been discovered from the Hellenistic kingdoms, suggesting the existence of a settlement trading with the Mediterranean as early as 250 BC; such early towns had been a feature of pre-Roman Gaul as described by Julius Caesar in his Commentaries and it is possible that they existed in Britannia as well. The Romans established a 42-acre'playing-card' shaped fort named Isca around AD 55.
The fort was the southwest terminus of the Fosse Way and served as the base of the 5 000-man Second Augustan Legion led by Vespasian Roman Emperor, for the next 20 years before they moved to Caerleon in Wales, known as Isca. To distinguish the two, the Romans referred to Exeter as Isca Dumnoniorum, "Watertown of the Dumnonii", Caerleon as Isca Augusta. A small fort was maintained at Topsham; the presence of the fort built up an unplanned civilian community of natives and the soldiers' families to the northeast of the fort. This settlement served as the tribal capital of the Dumnonii and was listed as one of their four cities by Ptolemy in his Geography; when the fortress was abandoned around the year 75, its grounds were converted to civilian purposes: its large bathhouse was demolished to make way for a forum and a basilica, a smaller-scale bath was erected to the southeast. This area was excavated in the 1970s, but could not be maintained for public view owing to its proximity to the present-day cathedral.
In January 2015, it was announced that Exeter Cathedral had launched a bid to restore the baths and open an underground centre for visitors. In the late 2nd century, the ditch and rampart defences around the old fortress were replaced by a bank and wall enclosing a much larger area, some 92 acres. Although most of the visible structure is older, the course of the Roman wall was used for Exeter's subsequent city walls, thus about 70% of the Roman wall remains, most of its route can be traced on foot. The Devonian Isca seems to have been most prosperous in the first half of the 4th century: more than a thousand Roman coins have been found around the city and there is evidence for copper and bronze working, a stock-yard, markets for the livestock and pottery produced in the surrounding countryside; the dating of the coins so far discovered, suggests a rapid decline: none have been discovered dated after the year 380. Bishop Ussher identified the Cair Pensa vel Coyt listed among the 28 cities of Britain by the History of the Britons as Isca, although David Nash Ford read it as a reference to Penselwood and thought it more to be Lindinis.
Nothing is known of Exeter from the time of the Roman withdrawal from Britain around the year 410 until the seventh century. By that time, the city was held by the Saxons, who had arrived in Exeter after defeating the British Dumnonians at Peonnum in Somerset in 658, it seems that the Saxons maintained a quarter of the city for the Britons under their own laws around present-day Bartholomew Street, known as "Britayne" Street until 1637 in memory of its former occupants. Exeter was known to the Saxons as Escanceaster. In 876, it was attacked and captured by Danish Vikings. Alfred the Great drove them out the next summer. Over the next few years, he elevated Exeter to one of the four burhs in Devon, rebuilding its walls on the Roman lines; these permitted the city to fend off another attack and siege by the Danes in 893. Ki
Durham is a historic city and the county town of County Durham in North East England. The city lies on the River Wear, to the west of Sunderland, south of Newcastle upon Tyne and to the north of Darlington. Founded over the final resting place of St Cuthbert, its Norman cathedral became a centre of pilgrimage in medieval England; the cathedral and adjacent 11th-century castle were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. The castle has been the home of Durham University since 1832. HM Prison Durham is located close to the city centre. City of Durham is the name of the civil parish; the name "Durham" comes from the Celtic element "dun", signifying a hill fort, the Old Norse "holme", which translates to island. The Lord Bishop of Durham takes a Latin variation of the city's name in his official signature, signed "N. Dunelm"; some attribute the city's name to the legend of the Dun Cow and the milkmaid who in legend guided the monks of Lindisfarne carrying the body of Saint Cuthbert to the site of the present city in 995 AD.
Dun Cow Lane is said to be one of the first streets in Durham, being directly to the east of Durham Cathedral and taking its name from a depiction of the city's founding etched in masonry on the south side of the cathedral. The city has been known by a number of names throughout history; the original Nordic Dun Holm was known in Latin as Dunelm. The modern form Durham came into use in the city's history; the north eastern historian Robert Surtees chronicled the name changes in his History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham but states that it is an "impossibility" to tell when the city's modern name came into being. Archeological evidence suggests a history of settlement in the area since 2000 BC; the present city can be traced back to AD 995, when a group of monks from Lindisfarne chose the strategic high peninsula as a place to settle with the body of Saint Cuthbert, that had lain in Chester-le-Street, founding a church there. Local legend states that the city was founded in A.
D. 995 by divine intervention. The 12th century chronicler Symeon of Durham recounts that after wandering in the north, Saint Cuthbert's bier miraculously came to a halt at the hill of Warden Law and, despite the effort of the congregation, would not move. Aldhun, Bishop of Chester-le-Street and leader of the order, decreed a holy fast of three days, accompanied by prayers to the saint. During the fast, Saint Cuthbert appeared to a certain monk named Eadmer, with instructions that the coffin should be taken to Dun Holm. After Eadmer's revelation, Aldhun found that he was able to move the bier, but did not know where Dun Holm was; the legend of the Dun Cow, first documented in The Rites of Durham, an anonymous account about the Durham Cathedral, published in 1593, builds on Symeon's account. According to this legend, by chance that day, the monks came across a milkmaid at Mount Joy, she stated. The monks, followed her, they settled at a wooded "hill-island" – a high wooded rock surrounded on three sides by the River Wear.
There they erected a shelter for the relics, on the spot where the Durham Cathedral would stand. Symeon states that a modest wooden building erected there shortly was the first building in the city. Bishop Aldhun subsequently had a stone church built, dedicated in September 998, it no longer remains. The legend is interpreted by a Victorian relief stone carving on the south face of the cathedral and, more by the bronze sculpture'Durham Cow', which reclines by the River Wear in view of the cathedral. During the medieval period the city gained spiritual prominence as the final resting place of Saint Cuthbert and Saint Bede the Venerable; the shrine of Saint Cuthbert, situated behind the High Altar of Durham Cathedral, was the most important religious site in England until the martyrdom of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury in 1170. Saint Cuthbert became famous for two reasons. Firstly, the miraculous healing powers he had displayed in life continued after his death, with many stories of those visiting the saint's shrine being cured of all manner of diseases.
This led to him being known as the "wonder worker of England". Secondly, after the first translation of his relics in 698 AD, his body was found to be incorruptible. Apart from a brief translation back to Holy Island during the Norman Invasion the saint's relics have remained enshrined to the present day. Saint Bede's bones are entombed in the cathedral, these drew medieval pilgrims to the city. Durham's geographical position has always given it an important place in the defence of England against the Scots; the city played an important part in the defence of the north, Durham Castle is the only Norman castle keep never to have suffered a breach. The Battle of Neville's Cross, which took place near the city on 17 October 1346 between the English and Scots, is the most famous battle of the age; the city suffered from plague outbreaks in 1544, 1589 and 1598. Owing to the divine providence evidenced in the city's legendary founding, the Bishop of Durham has always enjoyed the title "Bishop by Divine Providence" as opposed to other bishops, who are "Bishop by Divine Permission".
However, as the north-east of England lay so far from Westminster, the bishops of Durham enjoyed extraordinary powers such as the ability to hold their own parliament, raise their own armies, appoint their own sheriffs and Justices, administer their own laws, levy taxes and customs duties, create fairs and markets, issue charters, salvage shipwrecks
Winchester is a city and the county town of Hampshire, England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, is located at the western end of the South Downs National Park, along the course of the River Itchen, it is situated 60 miles south-west of London and 13.6 miles from its closest city. At the time of the 2011 Census, Winchester had a population of 45,184; the wider City of Winchester district which includes towns such as Alresford and Bishop's Waltham has a population of 116,800. Winchester developed from the Roman town of Venta Belgarum, which in turn developed from an Iron Age oppidum. Winchester's major landmark is Winchester Cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, with the distinction of having the longest nave and overall length of all Gothic cathedrals in Europe; the city is home to the University of Winchester and Winchester College, the oldest public school in the United Kingdom still using its original buildings. The area around Winchester has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with three Iron Age hillforts, Oram's Arbour, St. Catherine's Hill, Worthy Down all in the nearby vicinity.
In the Late Iron Age, a more urban settlement type developed, known as an oppidum, although the archaeology of this phase remains obscure. It was overrun by the confederation of Gaulish tribes known as the Belgae sometime during the first century BCE, it seems to have been known as Wentā or Venta, derived from the Brittonic for "town" or "meeting place", or the word for "white", due to Winchester's situation upon chalk. After the Roman conquest of Britain, the settlement served as the capital of the Belgae and was distinguished as Venta Belgarum, "Venta of the Belgae". Although in the early years of the Roman province it was of subsidiary importance to Silchester and Chichester, Venta eclipsed them both by the latter half of the second century. At the beginning of the third century, Winchester was given protective stone walls. At around this time the city covered an area of 144 acres, making it among the largest towns in Roman Britain by surface area. There was a limited suburban area outside the walls.
Like many other Roman towns however, Winchester began to decline in the fourth century. Following the Roman withdrawal from Britain in 410, urban life seems to have continued at Venta Belgarum until around 450 AD, a small administrative centre might have continued after that on the site of the Anglo-Saxon palace. Ford identifies the community as the Cair Guinntguic listed by Nennius among the 28 cities of Britain in his History of the Britons. Amid the Saxon invasions of Britain, cemeteries dating to the 6th and 7th centuries suggest a revival of settlement; the city became known as Wintan-ceastre in Old English. In 648, King Cenwalh of Wessex erected the Church of SS Peter and Paul known as the Old Minster; this became a cathedral in the 660s when the West Saxon bishopric was transferred from Dorchester-on-Thames. The present form of the city dates to reconstruction in the late 9th century, when King Alfred the Great obliterated the Roman street plan in favour of a new grid in order to provide better defence against the Vikings.
The city's first mint appears to date from this period. In the early tenth century there were two new ecclesiastical establishments, the convent of Nunnaminster, founded by Alfred's widow Ealhswith, the New Minster. Bishop Æthelwold of Winchester was a leading figure in the monastic reform movement of the tenth century, he replaced them with monks. He created the drainage system, the'Lockburn', which served as the town drain until 1875, still survives. In the late tenth century, the Old Minster was enlarged as a centre of the cult of the ninth century Bishop of Winchester, Saint Swithun; the three minsters were the home of what architectural historian John Crook describes as "the supreme artistic achievements" of the Winchester School. The consensus among historians of Anglo-Saxon England is that the court was mobile in this period and there was no fixed capital. Martin Biddle has suggested that Winchester was a centre for royal administration in the seventh and eighth centuries, but this is questioned by Barbara Yorke, who sees it as significant that the shire was named after Hamtun, the forerunner of Southampton.
However, Winchester is described by the historian Catherine Cubitt as "the premier city of the West Saxon kingdom." There was a fire in the city in 1141 during the Rout of Winchester. William of Wykeham played a role in the city's restoration; as Bishop of Winchester he was responsible for much of the current structure of the cathedral, he founded the still extant public school Winchester College. During the Middle Ages, the city was an important centre of the wool trade, before going into a slow decline; the curfew bell in the bell tower, still sounds at 8:00 pm each evening. While Jews lived in Winchester from at least 1148, in the 13th century the Jewish community in the city was one of the most important in England. There was an archa in the city, the Jewish quarter was located in the city's heart. There were a series of blood libel claims levied against the Jewish community in the 1220s and 1230s, the cause of the hanging of the community's leader, Abraham Pinch, in front of the synagogue that he was head of.
Simon de Montfort ransacked the Jewish quarter in 1264, in 1290 all Jews were expelled from England. The City Cross has been dated to the 15th century, features 12 statues of the Virgin Mary and various historical figures. Several statues appear to have been added t
Petersfield is a market town and civil parish in the East Hampshire district of Hampshire, England. It is 17 miles north of Portsmouth, via the A3 road; the town has its own railway station on the Portsmouth Direct Line, the mainline rail link connecting Portsmouth and London. Situated on the northern slopes of the South Downs, Petersfield lies wholly within the South Downs National Park; the town is on the crossroads of well-used north–south and east–west routes and it grew as a coach stop on the Portsmouth to London route. Petersfield is twinned with Barentin in France, Warendorf in Germany. Petersfield Heath's burial mounds may be up to 4,000 years old; these are considered to be one of the more important lowland barrow groups in this country. The barrows indicate that the area of the Heath was occupied by people who may have come to regard this area as sacred to their religion; as yet no trace has been confirmed for the dwellings of these people as the structures would have been wooden but Petersfield Museum hosts a community project to throw more light on this period of history.
The town was founded during the 12th century by William Fitz Robert, 2nd Earl of Gloucester chartered by his widow, Hawise de Beaumont, confirmed by charter in 1198 from "John, Count of Mortain". In 1415 King Henry V granted the burgesses of Petersfield freedom from toll, picage, pannage and pontage throughout the realm of England. All charters are preserved in the archive files at Petersfield Town Council; the town grew in prosperity due to its position on travelled routes, local sheep farming, cottage industries including leather and cloth. There were weekly markets in the town square for sheep and cattle trading, two annual fairs, in June and November. An autumn fair which began in the early 19th century was held in October on The Heath, called "The Taro Fair"; the town's market square has an 18th-century statue of King William III by Henry Cheere. The king is mounted and the statue is on an engraved plinth, it is one of only five statues of William in the United Kingdom outside Northern Ireland and, as such, attracts bands of marching Orangemen in mid-July to commemorate William's victory at the Battle of the Boyne.
Petersfield is situated in the valley of the Western Rother, on the Lower Greensand at the northern edge of the South Downs. The town lies at the western end of the Greensand Ridge, a sandstone ridge running through Hampshire and Kent; the town is surrounded on all sides by farmed countryside, with the South Downs south of the town, the Hampshire Downs to the west, forested hills to the north east. The town is a centre for exploring the South Downs National Park. Close to the town and situated on the South Downs is Queen Elizabeth Country Park, which incorporates Butser Hill, has a variety of scenery including chalk hills, beech woodland and pine forest; the Hangers Way footpath starts from the country park, goes to Buriton, through Petersfield and in to Alton. On the south east side of the town is Petersfield Heath, 95 acres of heathland including woodland, grassland, a pond, a picnic and recreation area. Petersfield Heath is a Site of Nature Conservation Interest, it contains 21 Bronze Age barrows which have resulted in the site being given Scheduled Ancient Monument status.
Heathland is rare throughout Europe and Petersfield Heath is a typical heathland mosaic of micro habitats. Across the site are sandy heath and acid heath areas and scrub which gives the area diverse zones for insects, reptiles and small mammals. Petersfield Heath is at one end of "The Serpent Trail", a 65-mile walk through heath and downland of Hampshire and West Sussex to Haslemere. On the nearest week-end to 6 October every year the Taro Fair is held on Petersfield Heath, a reminder of cattle fairs that were held annually until the 1950s, it is now a fun fair.. Free festivals are held throughout the year; the Petersfield Spring Festival over the May Bank Holiday weekend, the Petersfield Summer Festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend and the Petersfield Christmas Festival Market on the first Sunday in December. Petersfield's market square holds markets, there are monthly Farmers' markets. Stallholders and farmers from Petersfield's French twin town Barentin visit Petersfield and hold a French market.
In the High Street is the physic garden, a recreation of a 17th-century herb garden. It is open to the public nearly every day of the year. Next to the Red Lion public house is the small Charles Dickens garden. Petersfield has a small volunteer run community garden,'The Good Life Community Garden', situated on the edge of the town next to Sheet railway crossing. In 2015 Petersfield bars. Petersfield had Vertigo; this was housed in the old Savoy cinema, a 1930s building used as a cinema until its closure in 1985. In May 2007, Vertigo nightclub was closed for good and sold to a developer to make way for a restaurant/bar with 14 flats above. Petersfield has a thriving Arts and Crafts Society, formed in 1934. One of the founder members was the well known artist Flora Twort. PACS holds regular demonstrations and workshops and holds a yearly exhibition in the Petersfield Festival