Winchester College Publication A Winchester Walk - Page 22

A Winchester Walk 22
The Great Hall .
The Great Hall , the finest and largest medieval hall after Westminster , gives an impression of what has been lost with its rhythm of elegant pointed arches in the arcades . At one end is the celebrated Round Table , 5.5m in diameter , painted in 1522 when Henry VIII entertained his powerful fellow monarch , the Habsburg Charles V , at Winchester . At the centre is the white and red Tudor Rose ( York and Lancaster ); radiating quadrants of green and white ( Tudor colours ), the names of his 24 knights at the edge , and a fully bearded King Arthur dominating the vertical . Tudor propaganda and links to a mythical past disguise a table that is much older ( 1290 ), probably commissioned by Edward I for a tournament to celebrate the betrothal of one of his daughters . The circular shape pays homage to the legendary Round Table of King Arthur . Beyond the hall is Queen Eleanor ’ s Herbarium , planted in the 1980s as a 13th-century herbarium .
On exiting the Great Hall , turn right and go down the steps of the courtyard , past 1960s law courts of fortress-like appearance . Turn
right at Trafalgar Street , first left at St Clement Street , then first right again down Southgate Street . Here begin some of the grandest Early Georgian houses in the city , for example the 1715 Hotel du Vin ( open for tea and drinks to nonresidents ); then the magnificent Serle ’ s House , now the Royal Hampshire Regimental Museum , a 1730 Baroque masterpiece of red and blue brick contrasting with white stucco , possibly by Thomas Archer . At this point the Victorians take over in the soaring Gothic revival church of St Thomas and St Clement ( converted into residential houses ), the former Garrison Chapel and Schoolroom ( now a cinema ), and a grand terrace of Italianate brick stucco ( Chernocke Place ). At the Green Man pub , turn left down St Swithun Street and onto the final leg , stopping only to look at the 1605 almshouses of Christes ’ Hospital , built for ‘ six old men , one matron and four boys ’, a surprising mix . At the end of St Swithun Street , turn right under Kingsgate and then left down College Street ( noting the house where Jane Austen died ), past the austerely Gothic Headmaster ’ s House .
This was built in 1839 on a palatial scale to house the Headmaster , George Moberly , and his expanding family . Moberly and his elegant wife had no less than 15 children . Mrs Moberly ’ s magnificent Regency lying-in couch , slightly the worse for wear , remains in the Headmaster ’ s study . Headmasters of the 20th and 21st centuries have found the property exciting to explore , but expensive to heat : indeed , shortly after the Second World War , one Headmaster was