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.
13th September 2021
Between 16 September – 1 October 2021, a new exhibition will be held at Winchester College to commemorate the lives of four former pupils who played a leading role in the British attempt to map, survey, and summit Mount Everest in the 1920s.
24th August 2021
England's largest free heritage festival takes place this September with Heritage Open Days. To celebrate this year's theme of 'Edible England', our College Archivist reflects on some of the unique terminology that has been associated with food over the centuries.
11th August 2021
Each year Winchester College welcomes hundreds of visitors to events, art exhibitions and specialist tours of the school and its collections for Heritage Open Days. This year, in-person events will return to the College with bookings now open.
19th July 2021
A new publication explores the College's collection of medieval glass. Created across a period of significant artistic change, they demonstrate the development of stained glass production techniques and the Gothic style from the mid-thirteenth to sixteenth centuries.
5th July 2021
In anticipation of a new Everest exhibition in Treasury this September, Mr Bill Norton, son of explorer and mountaineer Edward Norton spoke to pupils and staff about the challenges and team dynamics of the 1921 expedition.
28th May 2021
The school's Treasury museum will re-open to the public next month, on Monday 21 June, in line with Government advice.