The Westgate Museum in Winchester serves up glorious views and a slice of history. It’s small but leaves a big impact and is a great way to see a different side of the city.
Enter through the hidden side door and climb up the stone staircase for all to be revealed!
📍Westgate Museum, High Street, Winchester, SO23 9AP
The Westgate Museum is right at the top of Winchester High Street and you could be forgiven for missing it on your travels.
The museum is actually above, in the top of the arch and can be accessed through a side staircase on the left. It’s tiny but my goodness it’s mighty.
The museum itself is a small room full of displays telling the history of the building and the city. Some are interactive, there’s some costumes to try on and plenty of illustrations and interesting artefacts.
It tells the story of how the Westgate museum, actually was a Medieval gateway to the city, was used as a debtors’ prison for over 150 years and some of the Tudor and Stuart history.
Don’t forget to look up, the ceiling of the Westgate Museum is painted for a visit by Mary Tudor and Philip of Spain for their marriage in Winchester in 1554. The stained glass windows are rather beautiful too.
Oh and the graffiti on the wall, it’s ancient not modern! Look closely at the stone walls when you are there.
There’s also a small staircase up to the top of the tower which has impressive views. In fact, it’s probably one of the best views in the city.
From the top of the tower you can see for miles right across Winchester, down the high street.
It’s the opposite view to St Giles view point, at the very opposite end of the high street. I visited the museum and saw the view after climbing St Giles and it was a nice way to take in the whole city.
Make it a day out
While it will take about an hour to go around the museum, you could combine it with some of the other small museums in the city to make a fuller day out.
There’s plenty of other experiences within walking distance, for example…
- The Winchester City Museum
- Winchester City Mill
- Six museums at the peninsula barracks, also known as Winchester’s Military Quarter
- Exhibitions at the Winchester Discovery Centre/Winchester Library
Winchester’s Westgate Museum
This is bitesized history at its best, a lovely hour that can be inserted into any stage of your day. It’s perfect if you want to fit lots of different things into your trip to Winchester and cover a lot of the city.
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