Exciting plans for Britain’s “most Norman city” Winchester are on the horizon as Hampshire Cultural Trust could be set to take on responsibility for running The Great Hall with a vision to bring the city’s historic castle back to life as a joined-up visitor destination for tourists and residents.
The plans have moved a step forward after a decision by Hampshire County Council’s leader, Councillor Rob Humby, paving the way for the county council and the trust to work together on detailed proposals before a final decision is made.
Hampshire Cultural Trust’s ambition is to enhance the heritage offer in the city by creating a joined-up ‘Winchester Castle’ visitor experience, re-connecting The Great Hall to both the ruined keep and the city’s only surviving medieval gateway, the Westgate, through new interpretation.
As well as operating 878 AD and The Arc in Winchester, Hampshire Cultural Trust also runs both City Museum and Westgate Museum for Winchester City Council and with the potential addition of The Great Hall, hopes to realise its long-term ambition of providing a joint ticket option for visitors.
Following this decision in principle, the county council will now work closely with the trust on the details of the transfer. Subject to agreement being reached, it is anticipated a transfer could take place in early 2024.
Cllr Humby said: “The Great Hall is one of the most important heritage venues in England and I can think of no better custodian than Hampshire Cultural Trust.”