The regional past from prehistory to the present is one of our particular research strengths.

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About us

Founded in 2004, the WCHA encourages and coordinates research within the Wessex region (defined as the historical counties of Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire). The WCHA develops the University of Winchester's long-standing involvement in regional and local archaeology and history, continuing and extending the work of the former Wessex Medieval Centre at Southampton University. WCHA complements and supplements the work and outreach of bodies such as the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society and CBA Wessex.

The steering committee comprises historians and archaeologists from the University of Winchester, Southampton University, record offices and archaeological units, and private individuals within the region.

Research and publications

Based in the School of History and Archaeology, the WCHA works in partnership with the Archaeology section, as well as other History research centres such as the Medieval and Renaissance Research Centre and the Modern History Research Centre.

Winchester historians and archaeologists have jointly published high-profile volumes such as Early Medieval Winchester: Communities, Authority and Power in an Urban Space, c. 800-c. 1200 (Lavelle, Roffey and Weikert eds 2021, and published with support from the WCHA), Danes in Wessex (Lavelle and Roffey eds 2015), and the award-winning Alfred's wars (Lavelle 2010).

Winchester Project

The WCHA is also associated with the Winchester Project, led by Dr Mark Allen. The Centre has published the Wessex Historical Databases, a range of CD publications providing high-quality, expertly edited historical data for subjects on the Wessex region. Titles:

  • Hampshire and Surrey County Council Elections: 1889 - 1974. Edited, with introductory essays by Roger Ottewill
  • Southampton Brokage Book, 1447-48, edited by Winifred Harwood
  • The 1871 Winchester Census, edited by Mark Allen and Tom Beaumont James
  • Sparsholt, 1841 - 1901: A Hampshire village microhistory, edited by Roger Young

Purchasing Wessex Historical Databases: price £11.75 each; postage and packing free in UK; please add £1.50 for overseas orders. Please make cheques in £ sterling payable to Dr Mark Allen, Wessex Historical Databases, Univ. of Winchester, School of History and Archaeology, Sparkford Road, Winchester SO22 4NR, UK.

Postgraduate research degrees

Research students are supervised to MPhil/PhD degrees across the whole thematic range of regional history and archaeology, from the earliest times to the present days. Applications from prospective students are welcome; for more information, contact the Convenor, Dr Simon Sandall.

Find out everything you need to know about studying for a research degree at Winchester.


The WCHA organises an annual series of research seminars and a spring symposium (find out about the latest symposium, which took place on 8 Feb. 2020). WCHA events are free and open to anyone interested in current Wessex-related historical or archaeological research. For information on current and forthcoming WCHA events, see What's Happening below, visit the WCHA Facebook page or explore the University's public events calendar. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, email the Convenor, Dr Simon Sandall.

Meet the WCHA team

Follow the links below to find out more about our research interests, areas of supervision and latest publications: