A NATIONALLY important archive collection held in Winchester is to become fully accessible thanks to funding.

Hampshire County Council’s Archives and Local Studies Service will catalogue the archive of the Bishopric of Winchester after being awarded £23,809 through the National Cataloguing Grants programme. Hampshire Archives Trust is also contributing £1,000 to the project.

One of the largest and most significant collections in Hampshire Record Office, held in the county since 1959, the Winchester Bishopric collection comprises the estate records of successive bishops of Winchester. At its height, the Bishopric estates comprised 60 manors spread across seven counties.

Chief among the archive’s treasures are the celebrated Winchester Pipe Rolls, dating from 1209 to 1711, which detail income and expenditure across the bishops’ estates.

The collection includes 515 boxes and 16 linear metres of volumes, dating from the 13th century. The records have informed studies of medieval Winchester and London.