Winchester is a town in Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 4,341 at the 2010 census. The primary settlement in the town, where 1,733 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as the Winchester census-designated place (CDP). The town also includes the village of Ashuelot and part of Pisgah State Park.
Originally named Arlington in honor of Charles Fitzroy, Earl of Arlington, this town was one of those established in 1733 by Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher as protection for the Massachusetts border at the Connecticut River. After becoming a part of New Hampshire province in 1741, the town was granted to Colonel Josiah Willard, commander of Fort Dummer. In 1753, it was incorporated by Governor Benning Wentworth as Winchester, for Charles Paulet, 3rd Duke of Bolton, 8th Marquess of Winchester, and constable of the Tower of London.
Pioneers who came to the town as early as 1732 were attacked many times by Indians. Several settlers were taken captive, and the town was burned in 1747. Its church, founded in 1736, is the oldest religious body in Cheshire County. The town has two covered bridges.
The Winchester Profession, an influential statement of the principles of Universalism, was adopted at a Universalist congress in Winchester in 1803.
Although it has been an agricultural town, many small industries have been established in Winchester. In the 1830s, Graves & Company was among the nation's first manufacturers of musical instruments. The coming of the Ashuelot Railroad in 1850 fostered the growth of textile mills and wooden-ware factories, especially box manufacture and leather tanning.