Photo By Peter Watts
Retroquire in Winchester Cathedral

Retroquire in Winchester Cathedral - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT

A panorama taken inside the Retroquire (retrochoir) of Winchester Cathedral. Unlike most cathedrals, the area behind the main altar in Winchester is not curved, but forms a box-like room. It is filled with Russian Orthodox style icons, statues and has several tombs.

Retroquire in Winchester Cathedral - FURTHER INFORMATION

Retroquire in Winchester Cathedral - Winchester visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Retroquire in Winchester Cathedral' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Hampshire.

A 'Retroquire' (or 'retrochoir') is the name given to the space behind the altar in a large church of cathedral. The Retroquire of Winchester Cathedral is larger than most and separates the high altar from the Lady Chapel. It was built between 1200-1230 as a shrine for St Swithun. The Retroquire screen is lined with an iconostasis containing nine Russian Orthodox icons, shown in this image, which were installed between 1992 and 1996. Beneath the iconostasis is a 'Holy Hole', once used by pilgrims to crawl beneath and lie close to the healing shrine of St Swithun.

Other notable occupants of the Retrochoir are a small statue of Joan of Arc (Johanna of Orleans), and the tomb of Cardinal Beaufort, who oversaw her trial and execution by burning at the stake in 1431.


Winchester is about 70 miles from London and 14 miles from Southampton near to junction 9 or the M3 motorway. At junction 9 take the A272 exit to Winchester.


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