Site of William the Conqueror’s Palace
It seems incredible that in the busy shopping streets of Winchester, you can stop and have a coffee on the site of William the Conqueror’s palace.
Whilst William waited for the stone masons to finish their work up the hill at the Castle, he had built a smaller complex of buildings, a small part of which remains squashed between the business of today. Under your feet run the cellars of these ancient times.
A short walk and a glance away and you might almost miss the small church of St Lawrence which is the site of William’s chapel. It is a humble church and of course, no trace of the Conqueror’s chapel remains but the sense of that enormous history feels very close.
The church of St Lawrence has a very special significance today. It is the place where each new bishop comes to pray and be gowned before he goes to the cathedral to be enthroned. From here he rings the bells and then exits out of this tiny church into the shopping streets of Winchester.