Winchester Cathedral Dedicated
The dedication by Bishop Walkelin of a new cathedral in Winchester was hugely symbolic for both conquered and conquerors in England.
Winchester’s new Norman cathedral had been under construction since 1079, a mere 13 years after the victory of William I at the Battle of Hastings . It formed part of the Norman drive to impose their will, their style, their rule on the beaten Saxons . In modern terms it was a symbol of oppression. Not for the last time, this oppression found form through a church leader - Walkelin was the first Norman bishop of Winchester.
On April 8 1093, with Walkelin presiding, the monks who had previously occupied the Saxon cathedral which had been the place of coronation for Edward the Confessor in 1043 and had seen the funeral service for Hardicanute in 1042, moved to the first completed section of the new building, now its crypt.
Great ceremony attached to the change. The work on the building was continuing, but the vastness of the project, and by extension the power of those organising it, was evident to all observers. The Normans were here to stay.
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