THE Winchester of 1871 is the subject of an evening of talks at the city Guildhall on February 7.

Several renowned historians will be speaking about a period of great change in the last third of the 19th century.

Railways were opening up the country, mains drainage was being installed and the city was growing fast including the Guildhall itself.

Winchester Excavations Committee, which has overseen the archaeology in the city over the last 50 years, has organised the event with the city council and the British Historic Towns Atlas.

The speakers include Prof Martin Biddle, director of Winchester Research Unit and chairman of the
Historic Towns Atlas.

He will talk about ‘Making the map that didn’t exist’ – looking at how the Historical Map of Winchester about 1800 (published last August) was created from the Ordnance Survey map of 1871 to show the major medieval and post-medieval buildings and places of historic interest.

Dr Mark Allen, senior lecturer in modern history and co-director of the Winchester Project at the University of Winchester.

He’ll be asking ‘Who were we?’ by looking at the people of the city as revealed in the census of 1871.

Giles Darkes, cartographic editor of the Historic Towns Atlas, will describe problems of mapping the city’s past in a manner that makes them accessible and interesting and why 1871 mattered.

Mr Darkes will explain how producing atlases of historic towns like Winchester show how mapping the historical environment reflects the nature of maps in general.

The event will be in the Guildhall Conference Chamber, starting at 6pm. Tickets are £5 and available from the Tourist Information Centre at the Guildhall. It is free to members of Friends of Winchester Studies.