Things ‘Look Up’ for Winchester’s High Street with new book

A new publication called ‘Look Up’ is released this week, encouraging visitors to Winchester city centre to lift their eyes above the ‘commercial waterline’ and pay attention to the historic buildings that house some of the city’s shops and restaurants.

Local architect Rod Graham and photographer Christopher Newberry have combined their design skills with their specialist knowledge about the background of Winchester’s historic buildings to create a new publication that celebrates the often-overlooked features of the High Street plus elements of Bridge Street, Eastgate Street and The Westgate.

Rod Graham said: "As an architect myself, I’m naturally drawn to look above the line where shop fronts end – it’s here that the original buildings’ composition is evident. One day Chris and I realised that we could present our knowledge about the way the High Street developed to offer something unique to residents and visitors - the stories behind today’s streetscape. We approached Winchester City Council who readily helped us with marketing advice, historical insight, archived images and proof-reading.’

Cllr Dominic Hiscock, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Prosperity said: "We know from research that shopping is a key driver for the local economy and Winchester’s many historic buildings and its eclectic mix of big chains and independent shops mean it’s seen as a unique retail destination. This exploration of the High Street area should generate a renewed appreciation for a High Street that lays claim to being the oldest in England. I think the book is terrific and gives residents and visitors access to a treasure trove of hidden information about the stories behind the building façades."

He added: "This project also reflects the way the council can be a useful sounding board for new business initiatives, working in partnership to facilitate projects, offer advice and hone in on particular areas of professional expertise. By working with Winchester City Council new and established businesses can find essential support and even new channels to market."

The book is available in paperback (£6.99) and hardback (£9.99) and is available from Winchester Tourist Information Centre and Amazon as well as various other outlets on the High Street itself.