SIR — I have never previously been to Winchester, so on Monday, February 15, I decided to give your historic city a visit.

Much of what I saw was as I had expected; the magnificent cathedral, The Great Hall and college etc.

However, when I walked into The Pentice from the cathedral I had quite a shock. I had expected the pavement to be as impressive as the cathedral environs, but what I experienced can only be described as an act of barbaric vandalism.

Clearly, some years ago there had been the need for the pavement here and down to the High Street to be repaired.

But instead of repairing it with matching stone, barbarians have filled in the hole with dreadful cheap uneven black tar, normally used for filling holes in roads.

Not only does it look vulgar, it as an insult to the residents of the city, visitors and the people in history who built this magnificent city.

I was greatly relieved to see that at the other end of the High Street work has started on restoring the pavement.

I suspect it’s long overdue and is going to cost £2m. Money well spent, but one needs to ask how did this happen in the first place?

How can it be that philistines can destroy the heart of such a magnificent city to a point where it is going to cost £2m to repair their damage.

Those responsible for this please take note, you are just a blip in history — the city was built by loving dedicated craftsmen, you are not, but the damage you have caused has stained a magnificent city.

I sincerely hope that the restoration work now taking place will remove your stain. Colin Smith, Coos Lane, Slaugham, West Sussex.