Cathedral treasures

The Cathedral is home to some particularly rare, precious and beautiful items, each with a special place in its long history. These outstanding national treasures form a part of a unique heritage which we seek to share today and conserve for the future.

The Morley Library (south transept)

This beautiful 17th-century library houses a collection of rare books bequeathed by Winchester’s Bishop Morley, and still boasts its original carved shelves. He also left money to buy of ‘two globes of the best and largest size’, one terrestrial and once celestial. You can find the Library up a staircase in the south transept.

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Tournai marble font

The ancient, polished dark stone font, with its carvings of the miracles of St Nicholas, the kindly children’s saint, is one of the Cathedral’s greatest treasures. It was brought from Tournai, in modern Belgium, in the 12th century, and has been in constant use ever since. You can find it on the north side of the nave.

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The Triforium Gallery (south transept)

The gallery houses precious artworks including the Shaftesbury Bowl, the only surviving example of late Saxon glass in England. It also contains a charming 15th-century sculpture of the Madonna and Child and an imposing head of God the Father, both part of the original medieval statuary of the Great Screen.

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The Winchester Bible

The Winchester Bible, housed in the Cathedral Library, is the largest and perhaps finest of all surviving 12th-century English bibles. A single scribe wrote out its entire text in Latin, while artists worked its exquisitely illuminated capital letters. Their glowing colours, including gold and lapis lazuli, are as intense today as 800 years ago.

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