With expert help from our community partners, Winchester College has embarked on a series of new tours aimed at the visually impaired.
Having conducting hundreds of tours over the years, Freda Bates, one of our guides decided to develop a new tour specifically designed to engage more of the senses and open up this rich heritage to blind and partially sighted members of the public. Working very closely with a local consultant, who is blind, Freda has written a customised history of the buildings and the school, which describes the environment more fully and highlights those aspects that people can experience in different ways.
The tour starts with a brief talk on the history and buildings so participants understand what they are about to walk through, noting the size and layout of the spaces before moving through Outer Court. A particular highlight is the chapel where music and incense create a more multi-sensory experience. There is also the chance to explore the silver, woodwork and vestments on display. The tour continues into the colder, more damp environment of the medieval Cloister, where there is a further talk about the use of the space and the ancient graffiti, which participants are invited to explore through touch. The tour ends with the chance to handle various objects from the school's collections, which have been carefully selected by the school's archivist for both their historic significance and tactile qualities. Refreshments are provided and there is the opportunity for further questions.
The tour has been designed for those who are completely blind but partially sighted people have also thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Further tours are planned for the coming year and spaces are limited to ensure participants can get the very most from the experience. Please email email@example.com if you are interested in attending or require more information.
1st November 2019
Not many schools have their own River Keeper. Mark Sankey tells us about managing the water meadows, the biodiversity of the Itchen, and filming with the BBC.
30th September 2019
The Treasury museum at the school is now free to the public and open daily, as we make these wonderful treasures more accessible to all.
9th September 2019
Celebrated as having the "most beautiful setting" in The Week's Independent Schools Guide 2019, some of those responsible for creating and maintaining this stunning environment write about the challenges and joys of working at the school.
9th July 2019
To mark the 200th anniversary of Keats's time in Winchester, the school will host two public talks and a new exhibition about the poet.
27th June 2019
Falling in the First World War, former pupil, Captain William Miles Kington was only recently identified. Two of our teaching staff travelled to the Tyne Cot cemetery to attend the Ceremony of Rededication of his headstone.
18th June 2019
A beautiful new publication showcases 50 treasures from the school's outstanding collections.