Winchester Trip reports

Some fabulous reports have already been submitted by the children.

Ned C

My School Trip to Winchester


Class AS visited Winchester (once the capital of England) on Monday 19th October 2015. We were to have a tour of the cathedral, visit the cathedral museum and then make Anglo-Saxon brooches and colour in fancy ‘P’s’ seen in Saxon manuscripts.  We were split into three groups and I was in group 2 which went into the cathedral first. This is a description of our tour.


When we walked inside the cathedral there was utter silence. Also, as soon as we entered I noticed the full scale of the cathedral itself. It was massive. We were asked what we could see. I straightaway saw the many carved ogre-like faces on the ceiling and asked what they were. I was told that they were called gargoyles and these frightening faces were meant to suck away any bad thoughts from visitors to the cathedral and ward off evil.  Josh asked how old the cathedral was and we were told that it was over 900 years old and is one of the largest cathedrals in England.  We then paced out 50 steps and were told this was the size of the first church on this site. Quite a difference to the cathedral now!


We then began our tour. The cathedral is laid out in the shape of a cross.  We walked along the left side of the cross and our guide told us why the glass was blue and pointed out the graves we were walking over.  That made me quickly jump off the one I was standing on!  When we reached the top we went down a tight passageway that led to a small hall with a statue in the middle. We were told that this was called the crypt. Unfortunately the crypt often floods after heavy rain.


After the crypt we stopped and listened to a prayer being read from the Winchester Bible written in old Saxon. Some of us said Amen at the end, others just listened.


Then we looked at a huge painting covering three walls which showed heaven and the earth below.  We were told that portraits of supposedly wise people were painted with huge wide eyes, and there is a painting in the cathedral of God which has such big eyes they almost take up the whole face! We did not get to see this however.


Further along we were told of some chests containing the bones of Saxon kings and bishops that had been stacked up against the wall. However, troops knocked them down during the Civil War and all the bones spilled out and all got mixed up together! They were put back into the chests and moved into a closed off area of the cathedral.  Sadly, King Alfred the Great’s bones are not amongst them because he was buried somewhere else.

Moving on to a tiny door, the guide told us the story of St Swithun.  St Swithun was an Anglo-Saxon bishop famous for being kind and generous.  When he died he was buried outside the Old Minster, which is what he wanted.  However, his bones were later dug up and placed inside the old building.  He was then dug up again to be placed in a tomb in the new cathedral behind the altar!  The tiny door we were looking at led to a tunnel called ‘The Holy Hole’ which was built to allow people to bow, then crawl under his tomb and feel his bones through the small holes.  They thought they might receive some of his powers by doing this. We were also told a story about him and a lady and some broken eggs which he made whole again through praying.

We were then led out of the cathedral to the museum. Outside the cathedral, you can see a pattern of walls that mark out where the ‘The Old Minister’ was before the cathedral was built.  There were many more gravestones outside the cathedral.  Once outside the cathedral I thought the cathedral looked smaller than it did from the inside!  It was still huge and very impressive!

The tour was very interesting and we had a great day in Winchester.



Class AS Trip to Winchester


On Monday the 19th of October, classes AS and KR went on a school trip to Winchester cathedral as part of their topic on the Anglo Saxons. When we got to school everyone was told to get out there rough books as we needed them on the trip. After the register we lined up at the door and slowly made our way down to the entrance of the school. Outside, stood a bright yellow coach, with class KR on it, waiting for us to board. Excitedly, everyone rushed onto the coach and found themselves a seat. I sat next to my best friends (Tegan and Lana). As we drove into the city centre, we all pointed out the statue of King Alfred the Great. He was holding his sword high above his head.


Happily, everyone jumped off the coach and lined up in their partners. I was paired up with Tegan. The walk to the cathedral from the bus stop lasted roughly 5 minutes. We had to walk past a graveyard. Our first stop was our meeting place (The learning centre) where we put down our bags and were told the outline of the day. The activities were the following: Group 1 looking round the museum, Group 2 tour of the cathedral and Group 3 went upstairs to do Anglo Saxon arty activities. I was in Group 3 with Lana and some other people. The first group to leave was Group 1, followed by Group 2, followed by us.


As we trundled up the stairs, we wondered what sort of crafty things we would be doing. We went into a small room and found ourselves a seat at one of the tables. In front of us were 4 felt mats, 4 stylists, 4 pencils, a piece of gold and a piece of parchment paper. Curiously we turned to the front and listened to the lady who instructed us to pick up the parchment, feel it and try to work out what it was. Did you know that parchment is actually made from animal skin? Secondly we were told pick up the gold and feel it. To my surprise, it was actually quite rough. Our next task was to illuminate the letter p using gold ink. Everyone’s illumination turned out to be really bright and pretty. After that we made our own brooches using tinfoil and card. The pattern on my brooch had squiggly lines, dotss and circles on it. Finally we were given these sheets and we got the opportunity to write our name in runes on it. After we had done our last task upstairs, we went back down to find our tour guide waiting to give us a tour of the cathedral. Quickly, we got our rough books and a pencil out of our bags and lined up in our pairs ready to walk to the cathedral.


When we got to the cathedral, we stood outside and looked at where the outline of the Old Saxon church used to be. We were also told that the cathedral was built at the end of the Anglo Saxon period so it wasn’t the cathedral that was there during the main time of the Anglo Saxons. As soon as we got inside, everyone was looking around thinking wow this is such an amazing place. The ceiling was shaped like an upside down Anglo Saxon boat, the glass windows were stained and they were telling a story and there were astonishing rows of pillars going down the sides of the cathedral. The tour guide told us that the size of the old cathedral was just the size of three pillars and it was still the biggest building that the Anglo Saxons had ever seen.


She said that she wanted to show us a room underneath the cathedral so we started to follow her towards the underground chamber. About halfway there we had to stop because there were some prayers going on. Did you know that the Lord’s prayer is actually Anglo Saxon? When we got to the underground room it was full, so we went upstairs instead and the lady told us some stories about Saxon and Viking Kings, Queens and Saints. After that we went back downstairs and as we had enough time the tour guide took us into the underground chamber and told us why they couldn’t bury people in there ( because it floods badly). She also told us that the statue in the centre of the room had a pipe running through it so water fell onto his hands so he could see his own reflection. After that she took us back to the learning centre where we ate our lunch. We were the first group back followed by Group 1, followed by Group 2. After half an hour we lined up in our groups and we went off to the museum.


As we walked to the museum, Lana and I were talking about what sorts of wonderful things we were going to sketch. When we got there we went into the museum and put our coats down underneath one of the glass cabinets, then we were split up into 2 groups. My group went upstairs to do some sketching. We had to sketch 2 Anglo Saxon artefacts and write down some information about them. 4 people were chosen to dress up as Anglo Saxons. Hannah was a Saxon slave, Itai was a Saxon farmer, Angus was a Saxon man and I was a rich Saxon lady.  After 45 minutes we went down stairs and switched places with the other group.


Everyone sat down in a circle and the man got out an old Anglo Saxon pot. Did you know that some Anglo Saxon pots have been buried for over 1000 years? Firstly the man gave the pot to me to have a feel and a listen to the inside of the pot. It sounded as if you were at the sea side and the wind was whistling loudly in your ears. Most of it was rough and had lots of cracks in but parts of it were smooth where they had lost bits and just filled them in. The pot was made out of clay and it was shaped like a kettle so it was obviously used for some sort of liquid. For the final 10 minutes we sketched a detailed picture of the pot and labeled it.  Finally, the man asked us: If the pot was buried 1000 years ago and was dug up 50 years ago, how long was it in the ground for? Straight away I answered 950 years which was correct. Once we finished the activity, we got our coats on and walked back to the learning Centre where we gathered our stuff and lined up in pairs ready for the walk back to the bus stop.


Back at school Mr Stanley asked us to tell him what we learnt. It turns out that we all learnt loads of stuff and we really enjoyed the day. Our class would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped us on the trip and we really appreciated it.


Winchester Cathedral Trip

Class AS and Class KR went on their school trip on Monday 19th October to find out more about the Anglo-Saxons and King Alfred the Great. After several classes had been before them, the day finally came and they were buzzing with excitement.


At 9:00am they all boarded the stiflingly hot coach. Full of chattering children, the coach left the school. They were off!!


It was an hour long road trip that took forever! When they finally arrived they had to walk to the Learning Centre where they were split into 3 groups.


First stop, for Group 2, was the tour. A lady from the Learning Centre took them around, doing several activities, like measuring the distance of the old building of Old Minster. Also, they were told a story about St. Swithins day. One person said “It was very interesting to hear all about the people who had been buried in the cathedral and the people who had been inside the cathedral.”


Next, they went to the museum to find out information on the church. They got to hold a real Anglo-Saxon pot downstairs and upstairs they sketched some of the most intriguing items from Anglo- Saxon Winchester. One person sketched one of the tiles whilst someone else sketched a bone comb. Another person said “I loved seeing all the items in the glass cabinets. It was amazing to see real Anglo Saxon items.”


Then it was lunchtime at 12.45. Everyone had 15 minutes to eat their lunch before they moved on to the next and final activity.


Group 2 stayed in the Learning Centre and went up to the Arts and Crafts room. Here, they were told they were Anglo-Saxon apprentices for King Alfred the Great. They learnt how to illuminate letters for the beginning of chapters and made a brooch to fasten an Anglo-Saxon coat. Afterwards, they went back down to the main hall to wait for the other 2 groups to finish their activities.


After everyone was packed up, they had to walk to the coach stop and find the seat they sat in on the way there. Exhausted, everyone slumped into their seats, ready for an hour journey back to school.


My Winchester school trip 

On the 19th of October my class and KR went on a school trip to Winchester.

After we got off the bus both classes were led to the education centre where we left our bags and were split into our groups.

My group’s first activity was the workshop where we felt parchment and looked at gold leaf. Parchment is what was used as paper to write on and is actually animal skin. Gold leaf paint, which is very expensive, was used to illuminate the first letter on a new page of the bible. We were then given a picture to illuminate ourselves using yellow paint.

For the next activity we made a brooch out of paper and tin foil. Rich Anglo Saxons had brooches made of metal to hold their capes together. Not so wealthy Anglo Saxons had wooden brooches. To make the brooch we had to draw a pattern inside a circle on a piece of paper and trace over it onto some foil. Then we got a cut out circle the same size as the brooch and wrapped the foil around it.

For the third activity we had to write our name in Anglo Saxon by copying the old alphabet. Anglo Saxons didn’t have some of the letters we have today like V and C so we had to change those letters to ones that sounded similar.

Our second activity was the tour. My group were led outside and into the cathedral, where we were told about Saint



Swithin and how he wanted to be buried outside the cathedral. People had heard how he taught Alfred the Great. They put flowers by his grave but there were so many that the door got blocked. A decision was made to move the bones of Saint Swithin inside the cathedral. As they did so it started to rain and thunder and ice was on the ground. People say that this is Saint Swithins way of saying “I want to stay outside!” The legend is: if it rains on Saint Swithins day it will rain for forty days.

Then we went under the cathedral into the crypt which regularly floods so it can’t be used.

After lunch in the education centre, our final activity was the museum. I went to the upstairs part of the museum first. Our task was to go around looking at the exhibitions and draw two detailed sketches of the artefacts. We also had to write down as many facts as possible.

Downstairs we were show an Anglo Saxon pot that we held to our ear, smelt it and felt the cracks inside. There were smoother patches on the pot where archaeologists had to fix it.Then we drew and labelled the pot in our rough books. We walked back to the education centre, collected our bags and coats and got back on the bus.


Alex Y

My school trip to Winchester 



On Monday 19th I went on a school trip to Winchester. We got on the bus; it was very fun because I had someone to talk to and play games with.  It was also very loud because everyone was exited and talking.

First we walked to the learning centre; the walk was fun because I haven’t seen much in Winchester before. When we got to the learning centre we put our coats and bags down, after that we got into our groups. I was in group 2.

The group that I was in went to the cathedral. First we tried to guess how many steps it was from the first pillar to the third one, that’s how big the cathedral was when it was first built. I guessed that the steps to the third pillar were 48 steps. After we did that we looked at the writing on the wall that told us about Alfred the Great.

Next everyone went over to a place that had bones behind it. The lady told us all about what was behind there. She said that they thought that they were Alfred the Great’s bones.

We then all went down to underneath the cathedral where we saw a statue. The lady told us at winter the underground bit floods and the water goes in the persons hands to make it look like he is holding water.

The next place we visited was the museum.  Our groups split in half, one half went upstairs and the other stayed downstairs, I was in the group that stayed downstairs. After we had split into groups we sat in a circle and the man got out a pot that was 1000 years old. He asked me how warm it was and I said it was cold and I smelt the inside and it was smelly, I felt it was rough and smooth. The smooth bits were where the archeoligist had stuck bits on because some were missing. We drew a picture of a pot; I thought mine was very good.

We went upstairs and Mrs Rorke showed us how Winchester got bigger throughout time. Then she asked us to pick two things to draw, I drew a knife that had lost its handle and a spear head. The spear head looked liked it had been used a lot. Finally we walked back to the learning centre we got out are lunch boxes and had lunch.

After that the group I was in went upstairs in the learning centre and we sat around the tables. The lady told us that the Anglo Saxons use big gold letters that stand out.  Next she had told us we were going to paint letters to make them stand out. After that we made a brooch. first we got a piece of paper and we drew a picture relating to the Anglo Saxons. Secondly we got a piece of foam and tinfoil first we put the shiny side of the tinfoil facing down. Then we put the foam over the tinfoil and then we put our pictures on top. Then we got a biro and we went over the picture softly. Once we had done that we got a circle of card and wrapped the tinfoil around it.

Finally, we went downstairs, got in our groups, got in partners and walked to the bus.  When we got on the bus the bus driver took us back to school, I had a fantastic day out.

Ned T

Our Winchester trip


Last week we went on a trip to Winchester. First class KR and AS got on a big coach that was blue. It took ages, but eventually we got there. My group’s first activity was to look round the Anglo-Saxon museum. We got to hold an Old Saxon pot that had lots of cracks in it. Archaeologists dug it up just behind the museum; it is about 900 years old.


The holding the pot we went upstairs to the rest of the museum where we had to choose 2 Anglo-Saxon items sketch. I chose an Anglo- Saxon statue of angel and Anglo-Saxon spearhead.


Then we walked back round to the building where we left our bags. We all went upstairs and entered a large room. The first thing we did was called illuminating, we had to colour in some parts of the big fancy P. Then we made an Anglo-Saxon brooch of paper and tinfoil. And finally we wrote down our names Anglo-Saxons ruins.  After that went into the hall and had lunch.


Our last activity of the day was looking around Norman Cathedral; Cathedral for Winchester was originally an Anglo-Saxon one when the Normans came along they knocked it down.  King Alfred was originally buried in the Saxon cathedral but when they knocked it down they took his body and buried in the outskirts of Winchester.  You can still see where the walls of the Anglo-Saxon cathedral where.  Inside the Norman cathedral is amazingly big and very well decorated; a lot of people carved their names into the walls.  There were a lot of dead people underneath the floor, also in the walls. We saw two Saxon kings in coffins, one queen and to bishops.


Sadly now we all walked back to the hall, got our bags, went to the loo and then walked back to the coach to go back to school.

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One Response to Winchester Trip reports

  1. Jason Harrison says:

    Great to see the children had such a good time at Winchester and engaged so well in all of the learning opportunities you and the team put on for them. I’ve really enjoyed seeing how the children have created their own stories of the day and have taken such individual learnings from the experience.

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