An urban study of central Winchester applying GIS methodology to twentieth century directory and complementary sources
This thesis has adopted a methodology that few others within the field of urban-historical
geography have implemented. The application of a Geographical Informnation System (GIS) to
the examination of the chosen data has allowed a raft of analytical techniques to be employed.
These are used to examine both the functional and morphological structure of the city - two
elements usually considered in isolation - and explore possible causative factors relating to its
Particularly useful in this examination are trade directories which provide a data source that to
a large extent, has been overlooked within academic research. The detail of information they
contain allows them to be linked to complementary material such as rate books and Ordnance
Survey maps. This rich archive forms the basis of three period pictures that this research has
developed to gain insight into the city of Winchester during the twentieth century.
The study recognises and attributes change to a number of operators including religion,
monarchy and military. The emergence of a further dominant influence, the planning system, is
clearly illustrated by its impact on the towns cape of the city and the functions which lined its
streets. Mapping rateable values illustrates that low value areas, predominantly residential, were
fundamentally influenced during the study period. The redevelopment of these sites proved
instrumental in allowing the historic core to develop into a Central Business District (CBD).
The implications of this decision have been explored, as many functions were dependant on
this residential population.