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.
30th March 2021
John Keats died 200 years ago of tuberculosis. He stayed in Winchester in 1819, his most productive year as a poet. While here he took regular walks in the water meadows and wrote “Ode to Autumn” after walking along the river to the Hospital of St Cross. This article looks at his time in Winchester and the disease which would eventually 'take his breath away'.
20th October 2020
In the final instalment of our focus on Wordsworth, in this 250th anniversary year of his birth, we reveal a previously undiscovered treasure within the school's collection.
29th September 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.