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Winchester and the Great Hall

The treason trial of Sir Walter Raleigh in the Great Hall

sunny 45 °F

It was the performance going tonight that brought us to Winchester. When we decided on London and the concerts we wanted to see we also checked out the Globe. We’d had such a great time at the Globe that we wanted to see another performance, even though we knew that we’d be at the indoor theater. I found a performance of the “Treason Trial of Sir Walter Raleigh” at the original 800-year-old Great Hall and bought tickets.

It was later that we discovered the performance was in Winchester. Our first reaction was, “where is Winchester?” We pulled out the map, found Winchester and then places nearby to visit. Hence the trip to Winchester.

We hoped to visit the Great Hall before the performance but, after a walk up to the Hall, we found it was closed. We’d forgotten that there was to be an afternoon performance as well. We walked around the hall area, looking at the remains of the Winchester Castle, a favorite place of King Henry Vll and the place where his son Arthur was born. The hall is all that remains standing.

There were a few items we wanted to buy for grandkids so found the bookstore and then went on down to the markets by the Cathedral. This time we walked thru the entire Christmas Market buying hot roasted chestnuts and mulled wine.

We stopped for dinner at Cote Basserie, the place recommended by the Visitor’s center. This restaurant has an extensive gluten-free menu. Both Dale and I ordered off this menu so that we could split the meals, Beef Bourguignon and Cassoulet. I was so stuffed after such a hearty meal but knew it would last for the cold evening.
The Great Hall, built in the 1200’s, was the site of the Treason Trial and many other trials. It also is the location of King Arthurs Round Table. The original trial took place about 415 years ago.
The trial was set up more modernly, actors wearing modern day clothing and there was the use of electric lights, but they used the transcripts from the original trial. The actor who played Sir Walter Raleigh looked like the picture of Raleigh and was very convincing.
There was no heat in the building so we were given red blankets to cover with. But, we were completely spellbound during the proceedings, the 2-hours passed by so quickly.

A side note; the couple seated next to us asked where we were from, our accents seem to give us away. They also asked where else we would be traveling. When we mentioned that we were avid Downton Abbey fans and going to visit Highclere they were so excited. The woman said that she’d taken tours to Highclere for afternoon tea in the past. We showed them some of our photos of our Dowton dinners and they appeared to be impressed.

After the performance, we went back to Cote Basserie, only a 5 minute walk. The staff was expecting us. We finished the evening with a French version of Irish Coffee and a small Chocolate Pot.
Stuffed and happy we went back to the hotel to get ready for another day.

Posted by Miss Chris 02:15 Archived in England Tagged winchester walking travel sir_walter_raleigh international_travel great_hall Comments (0)

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