Is Winchester the ‘Great Town’ of 2007?

Winchester was pipped to the post in the Academy of Urbanism's ‘Great Town’ award by Kilkenny in Ireland.

The judges visited Winchester in July and were whisked off on a whistle stop tour of the city, exploring examples or urbanism and the town's evolution in terms of

  • Governance
  • Local Character and Distinctiveness
  • User Friendliness
  • Commercial Success and Viability
  • Environmental and Social Sustainability
  • Functionality

As part of the awards process the Academy’s poet in residence Ian McMillan has penned the following poem about Winchester.


Sunday: I heard the bells of the cathedral and they sang
In my heart, in my brain.
Monday: St Swithun winked and let me off forty days of rain.
Tuesday: Sat in the Royal. Laughed. Cried.
Wednesday: Visited the Gardeners’ Question Time Potting Shed. Peeped Inside.
Thursday: Tried to understand the essence of this place of continual renewal and regeneration.
Friday: Decided to stay. Missed the last train at the station.
Saturday: Began to understand that Winchester has no beginning or end.
Sunday: Tear up the diary. Time to spend.

(Copyright - Academy of Urbanism)

If you have been inspired by this poem and want to write your own about what Winchester means to you then please send your poems in to the City Council by email to and the best will be showcased on our website

Winchester's submission for the award can be seen on the Cultural Consortium website. Click here to see it.

More information about the Academy of Urbanism can be found on their website