After a short delay when our coach was late, we whisked off to Wonderful Winchester on Tuesday 23 May. Our destinations was Winchester City Museum and the awe inspiring Cathedral.
After we had dropped off our belongings at the Learning Centre, we went to the City Museum. Whilst there, we got to handle a genuine restored Saxon Pot. It had been excavated from the grounds of the cathedral back in 1965. It was made of a rough clay and beautifully shaped with a small handle and spout. We guessed that it would very likely have held beer, soup or other liquids. It showed evidence of having been put onto a fire in the past. It had cracks in it and some areas had been patched with plaster to fill in the gaps where some of the broken parts were not found.
Upstairs we saw a selection of artefacts and were able try on some replica Saxon clothes. There were several activities to do which were great fun.
Next, we tucked into our lunches back at the Learning Centre. Delicious!
We were lucky enough to have a fun guided tour of the cathedral. We saw so many things, including:
The nave; some wall paintings that were over 1000 years old; the quire stalls, the place where St Swithun as once buried; a small hole where pilgrims used to crawl to see his previous burial site,(we also learned about the legend of St Swithun’s Day!); the mortuary chests which hold the bones of Saxon Kings and Queens and finally the chilly crypt where there is a wonderful statue by Anthony Gormley. We could see where the floor had been recently flooded.
Back in the Learning Centre, we became Anglo-Saxon Apprentices. We illuminated some letters with gold, made a silver broach for a cape and wrote in runes.
We were all tired but very knowledgeable about Anglo-Saxon Winchester by the time we got back to school.