A Winchester Walk 14
Kingsgate from St Swithun ’ s Street , George Shepherd , 1826 .
Florentine Renaissance . It was very much the vision of Montague Rendall ( Headmaster 1911 – 24 ), designed as a memorial to the 513 Wykehamists killed during the First World War . Rendall agonised over every detail : the wording of the Lombardic script that runs along all four sides took him months to compose , and at one point during construction he was spending several hours a day on site . The planting scheme ( much altered ) was originally by Gertrude Jekyll : the yews standing as sentries to the central cross .
A few yards on , to your left along Kingsgate Street , is the white-painted portico of another boarding house , Moberly ’ s , where Kenneth Clark was once a pupil .
At the end of Kingsgate Street ( described by Pevsner as ‘ surely one of the finest Georgian streets in England ’) again you have a choice : either to return to the Porters ’ Lodge at Winchester College by turning right down College Street , passing the house in which Jane
Austen died ; or to continue straight on through the gate in front , known as Kingsgate , to move into the city and the second half of the tour via the Cathedral precinct . Those with energy and time should allow about 40 minutes to walk the second half of the tour , more if they wish to see the Cathedral and the Round Table .
Pass through the depressed arch of Kingsgate , one of Winchester ’ s two surviving medieval gates ( late 14th-century ), and , before turning right , take the timber-framed staircase to your left . Climb the stairs to find yourself in the delightful St Swithun-upon-Kingsgate . The church has been much altered over the centuries – at one point in the 1660s pigs were kept at one end while the Kingsgate porter slept at the other – but it has a quiet charm . It was probably built to serve as a chapel for lay people who worked in the Cathedral in the Middle Ages .
When you return to street level , look back : Kingsgate is either on or near the site of what was