History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
When the defensive needs of the city declined, Westgate was put to use as a gaol and debtors prison. Grafitti carved by prisoners can still be seen in the upper chamber. From the late 19th century Westgate has been used as a museum and secure storage for city archives.
Today, the museum features displays on Winchester's rich history, particularly in the medieval period. There are armour and weapons on display, as well as household objects, and a painted ceiling created for the marriage of Mary I to Philip of Spain in 1554. In addition, there is a fascinating collection of old weights and measures. Visitors can also try their hand at creating a brass-rubbing.
The museum gives access to the roof of Westgate, from where excellent views can be had down the long stretch of High Street and over the surrounding countryside. Unfortunately, the steep stairs do not allow wheelchair access. Normally closed during the winter months (November-January).
The museum volunteer guides are incredibly friendly and helpful. The one we talked to on our last visit told us about the medieval armour on display, helped us try out medieval costumes, and took photos of us in our costumes - top notch stuff!
About Westgate Museum
Address: High Street, Winchester, Hampshire, England, SO23 9AP
Attraction Type: Museum
Location: At the top end of High Street. The nearest parking is on Tower Street.
Website: Westgate Museum
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Winchester City Mill - 0.1 miles (Museum)
Winchester Castle - 0.1 miles (Castle)
Queen Eleanor's Garden - 0.1 miles (Garden)
Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum - 0.1 miles (Museum)
Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum - 0.1 miles (Museum)
The Gurkha Museum - 0.1 miles (Museum)
Kings Royal Hussars Museum - 0.1 miles (Museum)
Winchester City Museum - 0.2 miles (Museum)
Nearest Accommodation to Westgate Museum: