Winchester Architecture – Wales Street / St Johns / Chesil Street Areas (The Soke)

Ther is a suburbe at the est gate of sum caullid the Soken: and is the biggest of al the suburbes longging to the cyte of Winchester.

Minns says:- The Soke, so called from the Saxon soc, which signifies a free domain, the independent jurisdiction of the Bishop with its own Courts and a taxation probably lighter than that within the city.

Outside the old East Gate of the city the suburb of ‘The Soke’ was established. This is in the area of Chesil Street and St Johns Street running along the bottom of St Giles Hill. Here are photos I took today of those Listed Buildings, ranging from the C19 to the churches from C12. To the north, at Blue Ball Hill the buildings have a more rural feel, with the C18 workers cottages and the stables at St Johns Croft. Indeed this area feels more like a village than a part of the city, with its own church. Chesil Street runs parallel with the Itchen and is a very busy road, with many of the buildings sooted up, tight to the street. There are some fine C18 town houses here, many with gardens backing onto the river, along with smaller house from C13 on. Further south is the Wharf area with a Black Rat, Black Boy and Black Bridge, around the top of the Itchen Navigation. Favourites this time are 34 Beggars Lane, 21 St Johns Street, Chesil House, and The Black Boy pub. I have put these images before the rest of the gallery below:

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