Town & City Historic Maps
From medieval times to 1800
Winchester was one of the most important cities in medieval and early-modern England. Settled in prehistoric times with a large Iron Age enclosure, the city of Winchester became the Roman Venta Belgarum, and then grew in prominence in Saxon England. It was the de facto capital of the Kingdom of Wessex, and its most famous ruler Alfred the Great laid out a new, planned town whose street pattern and form is still evident today.
When the capital moved to London some time after the Norman conquest, the city went into a long period of relative unprosperity, but nonetheless retained important buildings in the cathedral and the castle.
The cathedral is one of the largest in Europe, and the castle includes the well-known Great Hall, rebuilt in the early 13th century and now home to the famous King Arthur's Round Table. King Charles II had an ambitious plan to turn Winchester Castle into the Versailles of England, with a sweeping boulevard from a new palace to the west front of the Cathedral. The city is also home to Winchester College, founded by Bishop William of Wykeham, and was the place where the novelist Jane Austen lived her last days and died.
This map shows Winchester as it was about the year 1800, as a small town but with large and important buildings scattered through it. The map shows the positions of the major medieval and post-medieval buildings and streets, the abbeys and the astonishingly large number of churches which once stood in the city, the watermills and wharves which served the working population, and the great buildings of the cathedral, castle and college.
The map also carries a brief history of Winchester written by Professor Martin Biddle, (joint editor and author of the British Historic Towns Atlas Volume VI on Winchester), and a comprehensive illustrated gazetteer explaining the development and stories of the most important buildings and sites shown on the map. Illustrated with watercolours and photographs of Winchester from the 19th century, many never published before, this is a fascinating publication for all interested in the history of one of England's most attractive cities. The map is a substantially updated and revised version of a map first published by Old House Books in 2012.
Please note: Our maps are available to buy through local booksellers and other outlets in the cities featured, or by ordering through any bookshop or online book retailer. The Historic Towns Trust currently does not sell its publications directly, but they should be easily available to purchase through your usual book retailer by quoting the ISBN provided.