Launch of the new Historic Environment Centre

Winchester City Council’s museums service has chosen Saturday 13th September to launch its Historic Environment Centre – or ‘HEC’. The opening will be celebrated as part of Heritage Open Days, the national event that aims to increase local appreciation of local history and culture by offering special openings and events with free admission.

Principal Curator, Geoff Denford, said:

“This will be a chance for staff to welcome visitors and to show off the new facilities. Exhibits will demonstrate the range of the service’s activities, and also explain the workings of the Portable Antiquities Scheme and of the city council’s Historic Environment Record.”

The centre, which will provide many of the services formerly delivered at the old Historic Resources Centre in Hyde Street, is conveniently located in Winchester’s Guildhall in the centre of the city. Staff will be present to offer advice and to talk about the exhibits from the collections – many of which are not normally on display. Visitors will be able to interrogate the Historic Environment Record – perhaps to find out more about their house or locality.

Drop in any time between 11.00am and 4.00pm; admission is free.

Winchester Museums is also offering a series of tours, again as part of Heritage Open Days.  The ‘Medieval Urban Bounce’ tours will depart from the City Museum, in The Square, on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September at 11.00am and 3.00pm.  The walks, led by Heritage Information Officer Graham Scobie, will look at the conflict of interest between the three medieval institutions – church, crown and merchants – that had such an effect on the city’s physical layout.

Elsewhere, the‘Winchester’s Hidden Waterways’ tours will depart from outside the Tourist Information Centre at 1pm on both Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September.

Cllr Patricia Stallard, Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and Sport, commented:

“The presence of the new Historic Environment Centre in the heart of the city will greatly increase public access to the services that Winchester Museums have to offer. The Heritage Open Days weekend certainly looks like being a busy one for our staff, and I hope that many local people and visitors will take advantages of these free opportunities to explore a little of Winchester’s fascinating past..”

Pre-booking is necessary for the walking tours: contact Winchester Tourist Information Centre, Winchester Guildhall, High Street, Winchester SO23 9GH; tel 01962 840 500; email

For a full listing of Heritage Open Days openings and events in the Winchester District, log onto