Licoricia of Winchester: Prince Charles visit, road closures, timetables and traffic management

The city of Winchester is gearing up for a royal nomination as Prince Charles is due to attend the grand unveiling of the Licoricia statue on Thursday February 10.

Preparations intensified ahead of the big day on Monday, with the bronze sculpture of the influential Jewish financier and her son, Asher, driven from Stroud in Gloucestershire to its new home outside the Winchester Arch in Jewry Street.

Workmen lifted the statue onto its base using a small crane, where it currently remains partially covered, ready for the Prince of Wales to reveal the finished piece.

The unveiling will mark the end of a successful long-term campaign by the Licoricia of Winchester appeal, which has spanned five years and raised over £150,000.

Large crowds are expected for the occasion, with road closures and traffic management measures planned to accommodate spectators.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Thursday’s event.

What road closures will be in place?

Jewry Street at the top of St George’s Street will be fully closed from 9.30am to 4.00pm.

On St George’s Street, one lane will be closed to traffic turning right at the junction with Jewry Street. However, traffic may turn left at the junction to Main Street.

Tower Street will be closed between the Jewry Street and Tower Road junctions.

Access to an exit from the Tower Street car park will still be possible from the entrance and exit on Sussex Street and Tower Street.

When should I arrive?

Spectators are advised to congregate either at the Arch in Jewry Street or near Castle Avenue near The Great Hall from 11.30am, with the unveiling expected shortly after midday.

Traffic and event officers will be in place during the tour, supported by police officers to ensure a safe and secure occasion.

How should I get there?

Winchester is expected to be busier than normal, and Hampshire County Council has advised anyone entering the town to travel by public transport, use Park & ​​Ride and walk where possible.

There are four P&R car parks: South Winchester, Pitt and East Winchester – Barfield and St Catherine’s car parks.

Why is Prince Charles unveiling the statue?

The Prince of Wales has worked for many years to encourage inter-religious dialogue and has been Patron of the Jewish Museum since 2008; World Jewish Relief since 2015; Holocaust Memorial Day Trust since 2015; and Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade since 2020.

Her Royal Highness will also see a statue of HM Queen Victoria during her visit, which was commissioned to mark her Golden Jubilee.

Who is Licorice?

Licoricia of Winchester was a leading figure in the community in the 13th century.

Although she was twice widowed, she managed to raise her family, run her business and thrive in a hostile society.

She was one of the main financiers of Henry III and his queen, Eleanor. Money raised from Licoricia and the estate of her second husband David helped build Westminster Abbey and its rich shrine to Edward the Confessor.

She was murdered along with her Christian maid in the city, with the perpetrator never brought to justice.

The five-year project to install a statue of Licoricia aims to educate people about England’s little-known but significant medieval Jewish community; to be a new gateway to the study of Winchester’s royal medieval past; promote tolerance and diversity in today’s society; inspire women and show the importance of education to provide opportunities; and to be a lasting artistic enhancement to the town of Winchester.

On the base of the statue are words from Leviticus: “Love your neighbor as yourself” – in English and Hebrew.

Maggie Carver, Chair of the Licorica Appeal, said: “The trustees are deeply honored that Her Royal Highness has agreed to unveil Winchester’s Licoricia statue. In doing so, the Prince underlines the historical significance of medieval Jewry in Winchester’s royal past and the continued importance of strong interfaith understanding.

“We also welcome the presence of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and other religious leaders. His blessing of the statue will celebrate the difficult history of Jews in England across a thousand years and embody the continued need to educate today’s citizens about the relevance of their common heritage in creating a better society.

Jews were part of the English community from 1067 until the expulsion in 1290, arriving after the Norman Conquest in 1066 almost a thousand years ago. They contributed to the building of iconic places of worship such as Westminster Abbey and Lincoln Cathedral, among other institutions, as well as to commerce and culture.

Jewry Street in Winchester was where the Jewish community was based.

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