City of Winchester Trust
  • kingalf
  • cathedral
  • roundtable
  • westgate
  • guildhall
  • wolsey
  • stcross
  • library

Report of City of Winchester Trust’s Walks Programme 2016


Hopefully all will agree that this year’s programme of walks has been full of variety and interest, provided as always by our fantastic guides with all walks well supported with George Saumarez Smith and Phil Yates contending for line honours in terms of record attendance numbers.

My thanks to John Hearn and Rod Graham who stepped in at short notice to help when Dr Christine Grover and Richard Baker were hors de combat due to illness.


On the behalf of the City of Winchester Trust I would like to thank all our guides who provided such well-informed and interesting evening walks over the Summer 2016.

1. Rachel Remnant of the Wildlife Trust yet again provided a fascinating demonstration of how simple, cost effective and thoughtful interventions with recent berm constructions and meanders can rejuvenate the canalized sections of the Itchen to the benefit of flora, fauna and fish and as it matures it all looks entirely natural.

2. Regrettably Dr Christine Grover’s illness resulted in cancellation at short notice of the second walk.

3. George Saumarez Smith gave us another master-class in interpreting the rich context of the Cathedral Close and opened our eyes to the events and people that have resulted in this wonderful built legacy.

4. Short notice for an operation meant that Richard Baker’s walk was also cancelled this year.

5. Keith Leaman set us all the task of being the designers for Station Approach and Lido sites. Challenging us to react to the constraints and opportunities that these unique sites offer and to better understand that a well-developed, intelligent brief is the essential for human scale architecture – the result as always was a most interactive and lively debate.

6. Phil Yates and Rod Youngman dedicated their walk to the memory of Chris Webb and his indefatigable fight to preserve the history of the impact of public transport on the City. They bombarded us with the human detail of Broadway and Chesil Street inter woven around the history of the King Alfred Buses and GWR which so fundamentally shaped people’s lives and the built form of Winchester.

7. John Hearn gave us another fascinating insight beneath the macro concerns of urban planning and the weaving together of spaces and safeguarding of future interconnections between buildings fundamentally important to the grain of the City.

8. Geraldine Buchanan’s in depth building by building study of Fulflood brought to life the expansion during the Victorian and Edwardian period – as always it was the detail about the inhabitants that brought everything into vivid colour.

9. Rod Graham stepped in at short notice to give a lively heads-up in his own inimitable style of the interconnectivity of the promenades, focal points, enclosures and unconscious details that bring light, shade and delight to the alleys and squares that form the human scaled urban grain of the City in and around the Upper High Street.

10. John Parker studied exposure of the ‘Building Stones of Winchester’ revealed the contribution that, for a city located in a geological area devoid of suitable building stone, the matrix of Quarr, Caen, Purbeck, Portland, Oolite stone imported and recycled from near and far and in-filled with indigenous flint and chalk clunch makes for a beautiful textured City.

11. David Brock’s passionate layer-by layer revealing of the stylistic tapestry that is the wonderful Grange was a Thursday evening delight.

12. Andrew Rutter closed the Summer Walks programme for 2016 and revealed the fascinating benign importance in terms of history and city transport planning of another of Winchester’s tree lined approaches hidden beneath modern indifference and neglect - Easton Lane.

My thanks to Keith Leaman and John Beveridge for their continued offers of help and advice, and Janet and Mollie’s tireless work in marshalling all the attendees.

Paul Williams
27 September 2016