St Maurice’s Covert, which is located between the city’s high street and Market Lane, will receive a makeover to enhance the popular pedestrian route between the high street and Winchester Cathedral. Phase one of the improvement works has begun and will last for seven weeks.
Renovation plans include the installation of benches and a water fountain, alongside cubed stone features to provide further seating space. The area will also be deep cleaned and resurfaced.
St Maurice was an ancient church in the City of Winchester. It was demolished in the 1950s leaving a covered space known as St Maurice Covert and a church tower that dates to the 15th century.
Cabinet Member for Asset Management, Cllr Kelsie Learney, said:
“Winchester’s extraordinary heritage is one of our key assets. We have listened to what people tell us they’d like to see change in this area and this makeover will revitalise an historic area, to create a fresh public space for residents, shoppers and tourists to enjoy. This does mean that for a short period, we will need to close the space to pedestrians and we thank people who use this footway in advance for their support in helping us deliver an exciting new feature for the city.”
Whilst the improvement works are underway, the area will need to be closed to the public. There are nearby alternative routes via Market Lane and Market Street. The public toilets on the site will remain open for the majority of this time – access will be by walking down Colebrook Street or Market Street and then along Market Lane. Alternative public toilets – which include disabled access and baby changing facilities – are available in Abbey Gardens and the Guildhall. A short closure of the St Maurice’s Covert toilets will be publicised in advance.
The second phase of the project will begin later this year to include new lighting which will better highlight the historic tower.
The project, supported by Winchester BID, has been designed by architects Scott Whitby Studio to take into account the views of residents, users and businesses.