In any other year, as the boys return from their summer holidays, and the signs of autumn start to appear, the school would also be preparing to welcome hundreds of visitors as part of the annual Heritage Open Days festival. This national event celebrates our history, cultural heritage and architecture, and Winchester College is proud to be the lead sponsor once again. However, like so many things this year, the 2020 celebrations will be a little different.
For this year’s festival Winchester College looks forward to welcoming virtual visitors from all over the world to take a glimpse behind closed doors from the comfort of their own home, or wherever they can find a wifi connection. Two new films and a special podcast have been created exclusively for Heritage Open Days 2020, to share some of the treasures and stories of this historic place, and are available via the links below and on our YouTube channel from Friday 11th to Sunday 20th September 2020.
The Warden and Fellows of Winchester College established a library at the beginning of the 15th century, which now contains more than ten thousand volumes, from medieval manuscripts to contemporary artists' books. This film explores the historic importance of the Fellows’ Library as a collection. Led by Fellows Librarian, Dr Richard Foster and Assistant Curator, Dr Sarah Griffin, the film focuses on the stories and rarity of individual books and their national significance, whilst taking in the beautiful rooms and buildings that house them.
This video tour explores the hidden corners of the oldest continuously running public school in England, with spectacular views from its towers and rooftops. Presented by Head of Art History, Adam Rattray, this is a rare opportunity to take in stunning panoramas across the city and delve into the heart of the school. The film follows the footsteps of George Mallory around the school, who was at Winchester between 1900 and 1904. Mallory was a founding member of the Winchester Ice Club, which climbed all the roofs at Winchester. Mallory subsequently made three attempts to summit Everest, where in 1924 he would perish on its topmost slopes.
This special podcast explores a book of hours: an extraordinary and very beautiful medieval illuminated prayer book. Dr Sarah Griffin is joined by the Rev'd Canon Dr Roland Riem of Winchester Cathedral, and church art specialist Sophie Hacker, to explore the Christian Book of Prayers, its shifting purpose throughout history, and how the intricate and colourful pages were made. They also discuss the meaning of the strange religious art, and the question of whether a chicken with a dragon’s body is simply that, or whether the artists had something deeper in mind.
This podcast has been produced in partnership with Winchester Heritage Open Days, as part of the school's sponsorship of the city's festival.
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.
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.