The Miners Standard pub, named after a special bowl traditionally used to measure lead ore, stands just above the point where West Bank and East Bank merge into one high-level rural road. As well as commenting favourably on the friendly atmosphere and the delicious food and drink available in this beautifully-sited pub, many visitors report on the enjoyment of staying at the camping and caravan site run by the owners on an adjacent field, from where there are quite spectacular views.
The Old Bowling Green pub stands much closer to the village, on the lower slopes of East Bank. The owners, David and Marilyn, have gone to the trouble of responding in detail to all the 271 comments they have received on Tripadvisor. These reviews are full of praise for the great beers and fine homecooked food on offer. One satisfied visitor wrote: ‘David and Marilyn are fantastic hosts. Lovely staff in a beautiful village that’s great for a weekend away.’
has been curtailed this year by restrictions imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The group’s repertoire includes several dances unique to Winster. These were documented by Cecil Sharp, a well-known collector of English folk music, when he paid a visit to the village in 1908. The Winster Reel is always a great favourite on Wakes Day and a polka known as the Winster Gallop has been known to encourage at least 30 spectators to lose their inhibitions and take part in the dance.
Another popular activity that has fallen victim to the pandemic this year is the annual Secret Garden Weekend, normally scheduled for July, when over 20 private gardens in the village are open to members of the public, who are likely to find themselves welcomed with cream teas and glasses of bubbly. During the weekend, visitors always include locals keen to explore their neighbours’ gardens, because so many of these are normally hidden from view behind houses that face onto the road without leaving any room for front gardens. One of the few houses on Main Street which does have a front garden is Doe Lea House, where a brilliant floral display forms a colourful introduction to the village for anyone entering Winster from the east.
SPLIT DOWN THE MIDDLE
The western exit from Main Street is almost completely closed off by a former Dower House. The tall gabled building obstructs all views from the street of the parish church, which features a plain square tower stylistically at odds with the more decorated style of the rest of the building. As the vicar, Rev. Stephen Monk, points out: ‘The interior of the church is even more unusual, because it consists of two naves joined by an arcade that runs all the way down the middle of the central aisle. When weddings take place, there is always a decision to be made about which side of the arcade the bridal party should take as they walk down the aisle. The carrying of the coffin in funeral processions poses an even bigger problem.’
Other notable features in the church include a pre-Raphaelite stained-glass window designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and a modern, semi-abstract stainedglass window where you might possibly be able to interpret some parts of the design as being representations of the eye of a dove and the feathered wings of the bird. The Church of St John the Baptist is Grade II listed, as are more than 60 other buildings in Winster.
The Market House, where our survey of this fine village began, has the added distinction of being Grade II* listed.
‘More than 60 buildings in Winster are Grade II listed’
Dappled light on the courtyard of the Dower House