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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending or require more information.
1st October 2020
To mark the 250th anniversary of the poet's birth, Fellows Librarian Richard Foster explains the importance of one of the school's latest acquisitions.
7th September 2020
Celebrating our history, buildings, people and collections, the school announces two new films and a podcast as part of this year's Heritage Open Days.
26th June 2020
There is always something to celebrate at Winchester College and the last couple of years have been particularly full of significant anniversaries - the opening of the boarding houses and the conversion of Commoners into classrooms - and this summer sees the 150th anniversary of the opening of Moberly Library.
14th June 2020
Archivist Suzanne Foster looks back at how the tradition of Winchester Match developed into the event we know today and shares how it looked in past years.
10th June 2020
Whilst the important commemorations of major moments in the Second World War have dominated our collective consciousness in recent months, there are important episodes in British history from that critical period that are less known but where Old Wykehamists played significant roles. History teacher, James Webster, delves into the details.
29th May 2020
The role of our Porters - providing a warm welcome - as well as security for the school is as important today as it was 600 years ago. Suzanne Foster, our College Archivist, explains how the job has evolved over the centuries.