Alan Titchmarsh to Open Illumination – A Festival of Flowers

Celebrated gardener, broadcaster and author Alan Titchmarsh, MBE, VMH, DL, will officially open Illumination: A Festival of Flowers at Winchester Cathedral on Tuesday 4 September.

Perhaps most famous for his role as a gardener and gardening journalist, including TV appearances from Gardener’s World to Ground Force, Alan is no stranger to Winchester Cathedral. For a number of years he presented the Winchester Cathedral Christmas Carol Concert and has visited on a number of occasions as a Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire and Chancellor of the University of Winchester.

Alan will officially open this year’s Flower Festival at a special Preview Evening on Tuesday 4th September, when guests will enjoy exclusive access to the spectacular displays which are in the final stages of being prepared. The event starts at 6.30pm on Tuesday 4 September and tickets (£30 to include champagne and canapé reception) are from the Cathedral Box Office (01962 857275;

Illumination: A Festival of Flowers will run from 5 to 9 September and feature a stunning array of flower arrangements inspired by the magnificent Winchester Bible, the largest and finest surviving 12th-century English bible.

This year’s eagerly anticipated Festival follows two spectacular and highly regarded flower festivals in recent years, and the Cathedral will once again be transformed by striking and fragrant floral displays.

Visitors will be invited to immerse themselves in a riot of colour and admire a variety of flower arrangements evoking the Winchester Bible’s exquisite illuminated initials and elaborate decorative schemes coloured with gold and lapis lazuli.

One volume of the Winchester Bible is currently on display in the North Transept of Winchester Cathedral. From next year, all four volumes of the Winchester Bible will be on display in the Cathedral’s new multi-million pound exhibition Kings and Scribes, opening in 2019.

Returning to the festival is Creative Director Angela Turner, having designed the Cathedral’s Flower Festival in 2013. Angela is a regular exhibitor at RHS Chelsea Flower Show and has won many of their highly coveted RHS gold medals. Angela’s flair and understanding of the Cathedral will result in a spectacular event. Most of the arrangers themselves will come from across the region of Wessex and Jersey NAFAS (National Association of Flower Arranging Societies).

“We are delighted to welcome Angela back to Winchester Cathedral for this year’s Flower Festival,” said Canon Annabelle Boyes, the Cathedral’s Receiver General. “I have no doubt that Angela’s skill and creativity will result in a truly unique and spectacular event.

“This year our Flower Festival is inspired by the 12th-century Winchester Bible, a medieval masterpiece and a national treasure. We look forward to seeing the exquisite decorative schemes within the Bible brought to life through the medium of flowers, as we share the story of the Winchester Bible with visitors from far and wide.”

Ticket prices range from £7 – £12 with a variety of concessions available (including groups of 15+) and can be booked via Winchester Cathedral Box Office on 01962 857 275 and A full list of prices can be found on the website.


There will be a media call on Tuesday 4 September; details and invitations to follow.


Media contacts at Winchester Cathedral

Simon Barwood – Media & Communications Officer
01962 857 217 / 07968 549 628 /

Catherine Hodgson – Marketing Manager
01962 857 227 /

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A city steeped in history, Winchester is England's ancient capital and former seat of King Alfred the Great.

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