The English Romantic poet, John Keats, stayed in Winchester during the late summer and early autumn of 1819. Keats enjoyed a daily walk through the Cathedral Close and water meadows to St Cross.
Inspired by the natural beauty of Winchester on Sunday 19 September 1819 he penned his ode ‘To Autumn’ on his return. The area has changed little in the 200 years since Keats visited – read on and take the walk yourself…
The round trip covers approximately two miles on pavements, gravel paths and grass.
Keats described St Cross as: ‘a very interesting old place, both for its gothic tower and alms-square, and for the appropriation of its rich rents to a relation of the Bishop of Winchester’ – a reference to a contemporary corruption scandal which was one of the themes of Anthony Trollope’s novel The Warden 35 years later.