Winchester Cathedral’s Holy Hole

This has got to be the coolest feature of any Cathedral.  It’s the holy hole.  Yes, you read that correctly.

You see, Winchester Cathedral used to be home to the shrine to St. Swithun. His bones were buried near the altar. And at some point, a small hole (about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide) cut a hole into the retrochoir. The hole leads to a small passage, but the passage doesn’t go anywhere. The prevailing belief is that this hole was a way for pilgrims to get closer to St. Swithun’s bones. The shrine stood on the platform immediately above the holy hole, so this theory seems quite plausible. You can see that the stone around the hole has been worn and stained by passage.  Unfortunately you can no longer crawl into the holy hole, although I probably would have paid at least a few quid for the opportunity.





Posted on 03/04/2011, in Castles & Cathedrals, Exploring the UK, travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. To me the first photo please most of all. Those icons or maybe in this case are painted here in Finland by ordinary people. Yours are painted by master artists and they are awesome.

    Here You can compare how ordinary people make them:

    I like this post very much!!!

    Happy Sunday!

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