Heritage Open Days 2022

9th August 2022

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival dedicated to heritage, opening doors to reveal the histories and treasures of fascinating buildings ranging from national monuments through to private homes.

Each year Winchester College welcomes hundreds of visitors to musical events, art exhibitions and specialist tours of the school and its collections. This year's festival will take place between 9 -18 September and will see the return of an exciting range of unique events, produced exclusively for the festival.

Dr Tim Hands, Headmaster of Winchester College commented, “Heritage Open Days enables our city to celebrate its wonderful history and to make the wider world aware of it. With more than 90 listed buildings in our care and an archive spanning 600 years, we look forward to welcoming visitors to enjoy some very special tours and events.”  


  • John Barclay: The Origins of Cricket  - A unique opportunity to hear John Barclay, President of Sussex County Cricket Club and former Sussex County Cricket Captain and President of MCC.  To coincide with the 250th anniversary of the first recognised first-class cricket match, played at Broadhalfpenny Down in June 1772 we welcome John Barclay to speak about the invention of this great game. Booking required: Book Tickets

  • Astounding Inventions: Wired and Wireless Communication in the 19th Century  - An electrifying hour-long talk and demonstration by renowned Physicist Jeremy Douglas that brings to life one of the great stories of 19th century science.  Booking required: Book Tickets 

  • Brewing – a Divine Discovery An hour-long talk by Miles Jenner, a multi-award winning Head Brewer and President of the Brewery History Society.  From its origins to the advent of commercial production and beyond, this light-hearted talk will highlight a series of accidental discoveries that led to the development of some world famous beers.  Booking required: Book Tickets

  • Winchester College Gardens Tour  - A chance to look behind the walls and walk through the beautiful hidden gardens of Winchester College. The tour will be led by one of the school’s experienced gardeners and include a look at a traditional college ‘quad’, a quiet sitting garden for the old College sick house and stately trees which frame the campus. The tour will conclude with a unique look at the ‘Warden's Garden’, with its herbaceous borders, woodland and chalk stream
  • Guided tour of Winchester College  - This tour concentrates on the medieval heart of the College including Chamber Court, Chapel, College Hall, Cloister and the 17th-century School building. A temporary exhibition in Cloister, ‘More than Just a Mountain’ will also be on show to commemorate the achievements of three former pupils who played leading roles in the British attempt to map, survey, and summit Mount Everest. One, George Leigh-Mallory, would die in pursuit of that effort.
  • Guided tour of War Cloister  - Within the precincts of Winchester College is the beautiful and peaceful War Cloister, a memorial to former pupils who died in both World Wars and subsequent conflicts. Listen to their stories and the story of the creation of this wonderful memorial.
  • Visit the school’s Treasury  - The Winchester College Treasury houses the outstanding collections of art and archaeology belonging to the school. The converted medieval Warden’s Stables contain four galleries filled with objects from around the world. New for Heritage Open Days, there will be a children’s trail on the theme of Edible England.
  • Guided tour of the Archives -  This hour-long tour allows a rare opportunity to view two medieval rooms which house the school’s archives. Documents and artefacts relating to the school’s history, including the Foundation Charters and Founder’s Statutes, will be on display. 
  • Winchester College and the Invention (twice over) of the British Public School  - An hour-long talk by Headmaster, Dr Tim Hands which explores the history of Winchester College, the oldest British school in continuous operation. In 1382 William of Wykeham created an institution of visionary ambition, scope, and influence. Over the centuries, Winchester, like many other schools and universities, slightly lost its way. Discover how it regained its prestige and vision in Victorian times.
  • Guided tour of the Fellows’ Library -  This 45-minute tour includes part of the Warden’s Lodgings, home to the school’s historic library. There will be an exhibition of medieval manuscripts and an opportunity to see the study of John Harmar, one of the translators of the King James Bible.
  • Join us for an Open Rehearsal with the Quiristers  - The Quiristers are part of the original foundation of Winchester College, and have been singing here since the 14th century. Watch them rehearse in the beautiful surroundings of the College Chapel, and find out how these young men are trained to become one of the leading choirs in the country.
  • Join us for a Service of Choral Matins in the beautiful Winchester College Chapel -   This service of Choral Matins, sung by the choir of Winchester College, will remember and celebrate the life of Bishop Thomas Ken (1637-1711), who was educated at Winchester College and wrote some well-known hymns.

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