By Tim Lambert
70 The Romans build a town on the site of Winchester. They called it Venta Belgarum.
c. 200 The Romans build stone walls around Winchester. The town flourishes.
407 The Roman army leaves Britain. Afterward town life breaks down and Winchester is abandoned.
650 The Saxons build a church called the Old Minster inside the walls of Winchester
c.676 The Bishop of Wessex moves his seat to Winchester and the Old Minster Church is made a cathedral.
c. 880 Alfred the Great revives the Roman town at Winchester. He creates a burh or fortified settlement.
903 A nunnery is built in the flourishing town of Winchester
1086 The population of Winchester is about 8,000 making it one of the largest towns in England
1079 The Normans demolish the Old Minster Cathedral. They build a new cathedral to replace it.
1136 The Hospital of St Cross is built in Winchester
1141 During a civil war a terrible battle is fought in Winchester
c. 1230 The Black friar and Grey friars arrive in Winchester
1265 During another civil war Simon De Montfort’s men capture Winchester and loot it.
1348-49 The Black Death strikes Winchester and kills perhaps half the population. Afterward, the town goes into decline.
1382 Winchester College is founded
1500 The population of Winchester has fallen to about 4,000
1522 Henry VIII meets Emperor Charles V at Winchester. (It is believed the Round Table was painted in Henry’s reign).
1538 Henry VIII closes the friaries and abbeys in Winchester
1579 A House of Correction for the poor is built
1603 The plague strikes Winchester
1625 Another outbreak of plague
1642-45 During the Civil War Winchester changes hands several times
1665-66 The plague is back in Winchester
1700 The population of Winchester is still about 4,000
1736 The Royal Hampshire County Hospital is built
1755 Horace Walpole calls Winchester ‘a paltry town and small’
1771 A body of men called the Paving Commissioners is formed to pave the streets of Winchester and light them with oil lamps
1785 A theatre opens in Jewry Street
1801 Winchester has a population of less than 6,000
1838 A Corn Exchange is built in Winchester
1840 The railway reaches Winchester. A Teacher Training College opens in Winchester. Later it becomes King Alfred’s College
1847 A Museum opens in Winchester. The streets are lit with gas for the first time.
1856 Winchester gains a piped water supply
1891 The population of Winchester is over 17,000
1898 Westgate is made a museum
1908 A riot takes place in Winchester
1914 The first cinema is built in Winchester
1921 A War Memorial is erected
1938 A by pass opens
1948 Winall Industrial estate is created
1966 A new Police HQ is built
1988 River Park Leisure Centre opens
1989 Winchester Cattle Market closes
1991 The Brooks Centre opens
1993 A new Public Records Office opens