Winchester, England, July 2017

Winchester is located on the River Itchen, ~98 km south-west of London. It developed from the Roman town of Venta Belgarum, which in turn developed from an Iron Age oppidum. Winchester's major landmark is Winchester Cathedral, and is well known for the Great Hall of its castle, built in the 12th century. The Great Hall is famous for King Arthur's Round Table, which has hung in the hall from at least 1463. The table actually dates from the 13th century, and as such is not contemporary to Arthur. Despite this it is still of considerable historical interest. The names of the legendary Knights of the Round Table are written around the edge of the table surmounted by King Arthur on his throne. The city is also home to Winchester College, the oldest public school in the UK still using its original buildings. —From Wikipedia.

Great Hall (more)

Part of Winchester Castle

King Arthur's Round Table

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Victoria bronze

Castle begun by William
the Conqueror (info)

A Gothic masterpiece

Queen Eleanor's garden

Hampshire county council

Winchster city center (1, 2)

City museum

Great Minster St. (more)

Peninsula barracks,
built in 20th century

A complex of military

Lavish modern home of
Winchester's bishop

Painted bollards

Winchester cathedral

Church of England
cathedral (1, 2)

Built in 11th century
CE (more)

Old gate to the cathedral

Winchester College

Headmaster's office

Walk along river Itchen

Waiting for the bus


Gurkha Museum, Winchester

The Gurkha Museum in Winchester struck me as a prime example of misguided noblesse oblige, colonial attitudes, and highly dated anthropological theorizing. It unwittingly documents the morally compromised relationship that the Gurkhas, as impoverished mercenaries, have had with the British Crown and military, which has long used the Gurkhas as cannon fodder in its dubious wars around the world. The museum, intended to commemorate the Gurkha service to the British Crown, is full of well-meaning—though ultimately vulgar and contrived—paeans to the allegedly superhuman courage and fighting prowess of the Gurkhas. It celebrates their undying loyalty and lifelong devotion to the British, but which was not deemed good enough (until recently, after a long campaign) to unconditionally qualify the soldiers for British citizenship. For starters, consider this patronizing description from a panel about the "common human qualities" of the Gurkhas:

"Despite all the differences born or varying ethnic backgrounds, religions, and caste hierarchies, the human qualities of all Gurkhas are the same. They are hospitable, kind and generous by nature and they share what they have readily and with open hearts. They are also gentlemen with that innate courtesy found amongst highlanders the world over. . . . Resilient, tough, brave and enduring, perhaps the Gurkhas' greatest characteristics are their innate cheerfulness in adversity and the flashing smile and warm friendship they offer to those who seek their company."


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