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David Ford, History EditorTours > Winchester Cathedral

Tour the Winchester Cathedral
by David Nash Ford BA, Editor, History on Britannia

Great Screen

The presbytery of Winchester Cathedral is dominated by the vast 'Great Screen' which acts as a backdrop to the High Altar. It was erected with the aid of funds left to the monastic establishment upon the death of Cardinal Henry Beaufort. Work was begun in 1455 and continued for the next twenty years: not surprising when you examine the intricate carving of the fine-grained limestone. It is quite stunning.

The original saints standing in the screen's multitude of niches were all destroyed during the Reformation of the mid-16th century, though many fragments survive and are displayed in the Triforium Gallery. The present figures are 19th century replacements and make a fine display for playing 'spot the saint.'

Next Stop: "Holy Hole"

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