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

Achievements of the Trust

The City of Winchester Trust has neither statutory powers nor rights. It can only succeed by maintaining a reputation as a well-informed and well-focused organisation and then using its powers of persuasion to influence the Local Authorities and others.

In its history, the Trust has had some notable successes. These are in areas such as saving streets from demolition, preserving and restoring individual buildings and architectural details, improving parts of the landscape and acting on roads and traffic.

Some Trust successes

General Issues

Planning Appraisal - Since the Wards of Winchester are unparished, there is no Parish Council taking a local view on planning applications. This void is very largely filled by the Trust's Planning Appraisal Group. The Trust's opinions are frequently sought by councillors, officers, developers and architects.

Trees - Plans for tree-planting schemes for the City is an ongoing project. This has ranged from providing plans for street-planting for the City Council to plant, to the provision of trees in a variety of places, the Cossack Lane carpark, the Library carpark, persuading the developers to plant trees in Friarsgate opposite the Brooks Centre, the northern end of Sussex Street, and in Stockbridge Road, etc,etc. A major contribution was the production of a catalogue of all trees within the old walls of the City - now out of date, a revised addition is being planned. The Trust planted trees in Romsey Road as part of the millenium activities (2000) and on St Giles' Hill in honour of the Queens Jubilee (2003).

Canon Street
Canon Street

Streets saved from demolition

Canon Street - Planned demolition of the whole street was averted, except for a few houses at the top, by persuasion and the purchase of a house by a member who gave the house to the Trust. (1959)

St John's Street (see images in Website Archives) - Planned demolition of most of the east side of the street was averted by a consortium of the then Winchester Preservation Trust and the Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust buying the houses for restoration and resale. At the same time we were able to influence the layout and design of the new houses on the west side of the street. (1983)

Upper Brook Street - Opposing the demolition of several historic buildings without success mostly on what is now the site of the Brooks Centre, but saving the Echo Building on the other side of the street. (1957)

The Barracks - Intense general support and some financial assistance to promote the successful conservation project which replaced previous schemes for demolition and redevelopment. (1994)

St Peter's Chesil Church
St Peter's Chesil Church

Individual Buildings

St Peter's Chesil Church - This redundant church was due for demolition in order to widen the road. The Trust came to the aid of the dramatic society with a loan to convert the church into the present theatre. When our logo was devised the church was used in the design combined with a tree to indicate our interest in buildings and landscape(1959)

The Heritage Centre - This late Georgian pair of houses was semi-derelict and due to be demolished in order to increase the size of the carpark. The Trust successfully petitioned to have the building spot listed, and then asked the Council to let the Trust use the building as a heritage centre. The Council agreed provided the Trust paid for the restoration of the building. Since then the Trust has acquired a long term lease for use as its headquarters, funding this by converting one of the houses back to domestic use.(1981)

Bar End Playing Fields - The Trust took an active part in a Public Enquiry to oppose the siting of a Tesco store on the Bar End playing fields. The scheme was refused and the store eventually relocated in the Winnall Industrial Estate.(1994)

Architectural Details

Chernocke Place, Southgate Street - The Trust obtained grants and reinstated the lost porches which are such an important feature of this terrace. (1980)

Eastgate Street Railings
Eastgate Street Railings

Eastgate Street - A similar project to Chernocke Place, but this time grants were obtained to repair the roof and replace a lost balustrade on the only privately owned house in the rounded terrace. (1991) Unable to afford it at the time, the Trust managed to raise grants again (the last available from the City and County) and itself subsidised the reinstatement of the railings in front of the whole terrace. (2005)

Little Minster Street Gas Lamp - The restoration of this as a gas-lit lamp, which was designed to burn sewer-gas. (1982)

The Frink Horse, Upper High Street - Support with fund-raising in order to secure this sculpture for the City. (1986)

Abbey House - Refurbishment of Victorian street light. (2005)


The Westgate - The Trust designed the layout of the paving under the arch using wheelstones saved from the Guildhall Gate to emphasise the fact that this was a thoroughfare. (1981)

The River Walk at Hyde Abbey - This was a clearance and wall repair operation, so that it became an attractive and established route. (1970)

Westhill Cemetry - Following a long campaign the Trust persuaded the City to stop taking out the headstones (to assist with mowing) and turn the cemetery into an attractive natural park with its history preserved in the stones.

Roads and Traffic

M3 Motorway - The Trust was the founder member and chaired the Joint Action Group, appearing at two public inquiries and with others successfully opposing the building of the motorway through the watermeadows. (1985-1991)

Three-quarter Inner Ring Road - Almost single-handed to start with, the Trust campaigned for 20 years to kill this official project, which involved a dual- carriageway entering the city via the old railway cutting behind Chesil Street, cutting diagonally across St John's Street and the river into Eastgate Street, up North Walls and into Sussex Street. A further element would turn Christchurch and Edgar Roads into a large roundabout before entering St Cross Road. (1968-1989)

North Walls Dual Carriageway - After the Inner Ring Road was abandoned, planning continued for doubling the width of North Walls. The Trust vigorously opposed this. (1985)

Garnier Road - The Trust played a major role in keeping this as rural as practicable. (1979-1989)

Easton Lane The Trust successfully opposed at a public inquiry plans to straighten and turn Easton Lane into a dual carriageway entrance to the City. (1980)

St James' Lane - Trust negotiations with the County Council resulted in major reductions in the visual impact of traffic-calming measures. (2000)

Southern Comfort

The Trust was a founder member of Southern Comfort in 1984; this informal event was for interested local amenity societies to meet once a year to discuss common problems and sometimes listen to invited speakers. There is no subscription, no secretariat and no records of meetings are circulated. The curious name arose following the first meeting when a press report used it as the title for an article emphasizing the mutual comfort enjoyed by all concerned.

The geographical area covers societies from the southern counties, one of whom volunteers to host the annual meeting in a loose rota, and annual attendance has varied from 3 to 20-30 societies, with the preponderance of societies geographically closer to the host society for that year. (1984)