July 31, 2023

The visitor is the hero this summer as they take on a quest to save history at 878 AD, Winchester’s newest visitor attraction.

Side Quests are a new, interactive challenge for visitors to 878 AD. Modern day objects have mistakenly been left behind in Anglo-Saxon Winchester – and their very presence threatens to change history forever. By working with the Anglo-Saxon locals, solving riddles, unravelling puzzles and seeking unusual items such as ants’ eggs, goat’s gall and a mysterious instrument made out of bone, the visitor’s mission – should they wish to accept it – is to find the object that risks putting a tear in time and restore history to its rightful path. 

Side Quests, which are included in admission, add to the unique experience that greets visitors as they step back into history at 878 AD, which recreates life in Anglo-Saxon Winchester on the eve of the pivotal Battle of Edington between King Alfred the Great and the mighty Viking, Guthrum. From a thief to a soldier and a slave, live performance brings the stories of everyday Anglo-Saxons to life, while real artefacts from the period, including the exquisite Winchester Reliquary, are on display, alongside Anglo-Saxon games to play. 

The second part of the 878 AD experience is a unique app, 878 AD: Winchester Revealed, which invites visitors onto the streets of Winchester to discover its history in a new way through the use of augmented reality. Lost buildings are recreated in their original locations, map fragments can be collected that reveal Alfred’s lasting legacy to the city, its street layout, while app users can become an Anglo-Saxon artisan, creating their own shield design or crafting a pot, and even practise augmented reality archery using the real-world medieval Westgate as a target. The whole experience, visitor attraction and app, uses the world of the global bestselling gaming series, Assassin’s Creed® Valhalla, to bring Anglo-Saxon Winchester to life.

For visitors with a passion for history and heritage, Hampshire Cultural Trust has launched a joint ticket to three of the attractions it manages in the city: 878 AD, Winchester City Museum and Westgate Museum. Visitors to all three attractions will be able to discover Winchester’s history from its roots in the Iron Age to the emergence of the Anglo-Saxons and its part in the final journey of King Charles I. Tickets are valid for a year and visitors can return to all three venues as many times as they like to explore the city’s unrivalled heritage and its place in the history of England. 

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