The text is the description the poet John Keats wrote of his daily walks from the centre of Winchester out to St Cross in a letter to his brother, while he was staying in Winchester in the autumn of 1819.
“Now the time is beautiful. I take a walk every day for an hour before dinner and this is generally my walk – I go out at the back gate across one street, into the Cathedral yard, which is always interesting; then I pass under the trees along a paved path, pass the beautiful front of the Cathedral, turn to the left under a stone door way – then I am on the other side of the building – which leaving behind me I pass on through two college-like squares seemingly built for the dwelling place of Deans and Prebendaries – garnished with grass and shaded with trees. Then I pass through one of the old city gates and then you are in one College-Street through which I pass and at the end thereof crossing some meadows and at last a country alley of gardens I arrive, that is, my worship arrives at the foundation of Saint Cross, which is 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 – Then I pass across St Cross meadows till you come to the most beautifully clear river – now this is only one mile of my walk I will spare you the other two till after supper when they would do you more good.”
This image is a thoroughly 21st Century view of the church at the Hospital of St Cross, as seen from the Master’s Garden.
For more details of the Keats Walk and of St Cross, please see several of my other images.
St Cross Church is one of English Heritage’s Grade 1 listed buildings.