Winchester, once the capital of England, is a city with a population of around 40,000. The county town of Hampshire, it lies on the River Itchen at the western end of the South Downs range of chalk hills.
Winchester developed from the Roman town of Venta Belgarum, which developed from an Iron Age oppidum. Winchester's major landmark is Winchester Cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, with the distinction of having the longest nave and overall length of all Gothic cathedrals in Europe. The town is also home to the University of Winchester and Winchester College, a public school which dates back to the fourteenth century. The city's architectural and historic interest, and its fast links to other towns and cities have led Winchester to become one of the most expensive areas of the country. A person who is from or resides in Winchester is sometimes locally known as a Wintonian.