Skip to main content
Select Source:

Winchester (cities, United States)

Winchester (wĬn´chĕ´stər, wĬn´chĬstər). 1 Town (1990 pop. 11,524), Litchfield co., NW Conn., in the Litchfield Hills; settled 1732, inc. 1771. It includes Winsted (1990 pop. 8,254), an industrial center where ball bearings, paper and metal products, building materials, electrical equipment, and pet supplies are manufactured. Many early 18th-century mansions are in Winsted. Of interest are the little red schoolhouse (1815) and the Winchester Historical Society, located in the Rockwell House (1813). Winchester lies at the gateway to the Berkshire Hills, in a lake region.

2 City (1990 pop. 15,799), seat of Clark co., N central Ky.; inc. 1793. The center of a tobacco, dairying, and livestock area on the edge of the bluegrass country, it has food processing and plants making a variety of manufactures including steel, pharmaceuticals, mining equipment, furniture, paper products, apparel, and feeds. Henry Clay made his last speech in Kentucky in the old courthouse there. Winchester is the headquarters of Cumberland National Forest.

3 Town (1990 pop. 20,267), Middlesex co., E Mass., a suburb of Boston; settled 1640, inc. 1850. It is chiefly residential with some light industry.

4 City (1990 pop. 23,365), seat of Frederick co., N Va., in the Shenandoah valley; settled 1732 near a Native American village in Lord Fairfax's domain, inc. as a city 1874. It is the trade, processing, and shipping center for an apple-growing, grain, livestock, and dairying district. Its products include motor vehicle parts, furniture, plastics, building materials, foods and beverages, lumber, flour, crushed limestone, and clothing.

George Washington began his career as a surveyor there in 1748. During the French and Indian Wars, Winchester was a center for defense against Native American raids, and Washington, who commanded the Virginia troops, had his headquarters there. Gen. Daniel Morgan lived in Winchester and is buried in Mt. Hebron Cemetery. During the Civil War, the city suffered severely, changing hands many times. Stonewall Jackson headquartered there during the winter of 1861–62, and Gen. Philip Sheridan during the winter of 1864–65. Of interest are the old Presbyterian Church (1790) and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. Shenandoah Univ. (1875) is there. The city is the birthplace of Willa Cather and Richard E. Byrd.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Winchester (cities, United States)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Winchester (cities, United States)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/winchester-cities-united-states

"Winchester (cities, United States)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/winchester-cities-united-states

Winchester

Winchester (Roman) was Venta Belgarum, capital of the probably artificial civitas of the Belgae. Situated at the intersection of the north–south valley of the Itchen through the east–west chalklands, there is some evidence for late Iron Age activity and a post-conquest military site. By the late 1st cent. the town, unusually, had earthwork defences; augmented in the 2nd cent. and fronted in stone in the 3rd, they enclosed 143 acres. Limited excavation in the interior has located parts of a street-grid, the site of the forum, a temple, and a number of houses. Extensive 4th-cent. cemeteries suggest that Winchester was still a major centre of population, but they passed out of use at the beginning of the 5th cent., at the same time as the abandonment of the buildings in the interior. A few sherds of Anglo-Saxon pottery are associated with this final phase.

Alan Simon Esmonde Cleary

post-Roman

Winchester revived as a bishop's seat (662), but urban life did not return until a planned and fortified town (burh) was laid out within the Roman walls, probably by King Alfred. The city expanded dramatically between the 10th and 12th cents., ranking by c.1110, with Norwich, second in size after London, and sharing with Westminster the developing functions of a national capital. Besides the cathedral, it possessed royal and episcopal palaces, 57 parish churches, and one of the four great trading fairs of England. However, it declined from the 12th cent. as the close links with the monarchy slackened. Since the 15th cent. it has been only a modest provincial town, though Charles II commissioned a palace there in 1683, and may have toyed with creating an English Versailles. The long decline has left Winchester with a rich urban fabric, as well as ‘the richest architecturally of all English bishops' sees’. Important excavations in 1961–71, the first major urban archaeological programme in Britain, have revealed the entire plan of the pre-Conquest cathedral and much else.

David M. Palliser

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Winchester." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Winchester." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/winchester

"Winchester." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/winchester

Winchester (city, England)

Winchester (wĬn´chĬstər), city and district (1991 pop. 34,127), county seat of Hampshire, S central England. Winchester was called Caer Gwent by the Britons, Venta Belgarum by the Romans, and Wintanceastre by the Saxons. Winchester was the capital of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex. Even after the Norman Conquest, when London gradually gained political ascendancy, Winchester remained England's center of learning and attracted many religious scholars. At the time it was also a wool center. Winchester has long held a position of ecclesiastical influence, reflected in its magnificent cathedral; the Norman structure, which replaced a Saxon church, was consecrated in 1093. In the 14th cent. it was enlarged and transformed into the present Gothic cathedral. It is the burial place of Saxon kings and queens and of William of Wykeham, Samuel Wilberforce, Izaak Walton, and Jane Austen. In Winchester are remains of Wolvesey Castle, where Queen Mary I lived in 1554. St. Cross Hospital, founded in the 12th cent., is the setting for Anthony Trollope's The Warden. The Norman castle, where several parliaments met, was damaged by Oliver Cromwell's soldiers; a round table, supposedly of King Arthur, hangs in the Great Hall. Winchester is still a historic cathedral city, virtually untouched by modern industry and construction. Winchester College, a famed English public school, was founded (1382; opened 1394) by William of Wykeham, bishop of Winchester, and is still partly housed in 14th-century buildings.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Winchester (city, England)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Winchester (city, England)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/winchester-city-england

"Winchester (city, England)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/winchester-city-england

Winchester

Winchester County town of Hampshire, on the River Itchen, s central England. Known as Venta Belgarum by the Romans, it became capital of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex in ad 519. During the reign of King Alfred the Great, it was capital of England. Despite the increasing influence of London, Winchester retained its importance as a centre of learning and religion throughout the medieval period. Much of the old city remains, including a 14th-century Gothic cathedral and the ruins of a Norman castle. Pop. (1994) 101,848.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Winchester." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Winchester." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/winchester

"Winchester." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/winchester

Winchester

Winchester
A. name of a city in Hampshire, used as a designation of certain measures XVI;

B. name of Oliver F. Winchester (1810–80), an American manufacturer, designating a type of breech-loading rifle XIX.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Winchester." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Winchester." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/winchester

"Winchester." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/winchester