Conference to focus on Winchester's pivotal position as an early medieval royal city

24 May 2017
View of Victorian stone building with path running by it and a pink cherry tree in blossom against a blue sky

An international conference shining the spotlight on Winchester's pivotal position as a royal city in early medieval history is to take place at the University of Winchester in July.

Hosted by the University and Hampshire Cultural TrustWinchester, An Early Medieval Royal City will explore the development of Winchester - England's ancient capital - its cultural and political life, and its place in the Saxon and early medieval world. 
The conference ​forms part of Winchester, The Royal City, a project whose aim is to celebrate and promote Winchester as a centre of key significance to the development of England and English culture. The conference is the second event in the project, following last year's inaugural, highly-acclaimed, one-day symposium Winchester, A Nation Emerges held at the city's Guildhall.
A packed programme is in place for the three-day conference, which takes place from 9-12 July, consisting of a number of keynote lectures from high-profile academics, complemented by parallel sessions. 
Keynote speakers confirmed to date include Professor Eric Fernie, art historian and former Director of the Courtauld Institute of Art; Professor Sharon Rowley, from Christopher Newport University, USA; well-known British archaeologist, Professor Martin Biddle and Professor Barbara Yorke from the University of Winchester. The parallel sessions will be led from academics from all over the globe, and subjects covered will span the intellectual life of Winchester, the court and politics, saints and miracle stories, the Bishopric of Winchester, and Winchester and its people.
The conference opens on Sunday 9 July with a public lecture by Professor Eric Fernie at the Guildhall which will hold particular interest for Winchester residents. The Norman Cathedral of Winchester and its Local, National and International Contextsbegins at 8pm, with tickets costing £10 per person.
Chief Executive Officer of Hampshire Cultural Trust, Dr Janet Owen, who will be leading a parallel session at the conference, commented: "We are thrilled to be working with the University to host this very exciting three-day conference. It comes just a few short months after the spectacular success of the first event in the Winchester, A Royal Cityproject, Winchester, A Nation Emerges, last October, which was hugely enjoyed by our sell-out audience and really set the standard for all events in the project to come."
Professor Joy Carter, Vice Chancellor of the University of Winchester, said: "Here at the University of Winchester, our expertise in History is internationally-renowned with a particular strength in Saxon and early medieval history. I am therefore delighted that we are collaborating with Hampshire Cultural Trust to organise and host this high-profile conference which features many of our own academic experts, including Professor Barbara Yorke and Dr Ryan Lavelle.
"This conference is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the significant past of Winchester, the historic and beautiful city in which we are based."
Winchester, An Early Medieval Royal City takes place at the University of Winchester's West Downs Centre in Romsey Road, Winchester from Sunday 9 to Wednesday 12 July. Tickets for both the conference and public lecture are available at this link​ and early bird offers are available until 30 May.


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