Hamo Thornycroft’s iconic statue of King Alfred (right) commemorates the king’s famous links with the city – collect a copy of the City Walk at the visitor information centre for more about this famous ruler. At the bottom of The Broadway, at the intersection with Eastgate Street, King George III and Queen Charlotte stayed at Eastgate House as the guests of Winchester’s MP Henry Penton on their visit to Winchester in 1778. The grand house no longer survives. Continue on towards the
Guildhall – Abbey Gardens will be on your left hand side. These gardens were built on the site of St Mary’s Abbey – the land was given to the city by Mary I as a gift to celebrate her wedding here to Philip of Spain in 1554.
You are now back at the Guildhall, where your royal tour of Winchester began. Should you wish to extend your tour of royal Winchester, there are several sites in the city
with royal connections that you may wish to visit including Hyde Abbey, where the bones of King Alfred and Edward the Elder were moved and the Hospital of St Cross,
founded by Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester, nephew of Henry I and brother of King Stephen. Henry’s decision to hold the royal treasury at Winchester for his brother helped Stephen to seize the crown before Matilda, the rightful heiress, could journey to England to claim her rights. Winchester became a key focus of conflict during the war between Stephen and Matilda for the crown as both sought to control the city due to its long-standing connection as an important seat of royal authority.