John Keats spent time in Winchester in 1819; his most productive year as a poet, working on 'Lamia', 'Otho the Great', and 'Hyperion'. “The air is worth sixpence a pint” he told a friend. He took regular walks in the water meadows, and wrote his beautiful ode “To Autumn” after walking to the Hospital of St Cross. To mark the 200th anniversary, the school is hosting two free, public lectures as well as a new exhibition in the Treasury.
Professor Sir Jonathan Bate, the internationally renowned critic and broadcaster, currently Provost of Worcester College, Oxford, and Professor of English at Oxford University, will discuss Keats’ life and work, as well as one of his best known poems. This is a unique chance to hear the youngest scholar ever to be knighted for services to English Literature.
The talk will be in New Hall on Wednesday 11th September 2019 at 7pm. Book tickets. Ticket holders will have exclusive access to the Treasury exhibition for the hour preceeding the talk.
A new exhibition about Keats and Winchester in the early 19th century will explore the influence of the city on Keats, and also some of the links between Keats and eighteenth century poets educated at Winchester College (particularly William Collins and Joseph Warton). Among the objects on display will be Keats’s ‘death mask’, on loan from Eton. The exhibition runs from 10th September to 20th December (2 - 4pm daily) and entry will be free. School groups should contact email@example.com to book.
Finally, marking the actual day of Keats' famous walk, Headmaster Dr Timothy Hands will give a talk on 'Winchester Poet Power: The Path to Keats’ Autumn' exploring the heritage that influenced Romanticism and made possible the writings of Keats, Coleridge, Wordworth, Austen and others. Book tickets.
September 2019 will mark the 25th year of the Heritage Open Days festival, with a ten-day programme of events nationally.
Each year, local Winchester volunteers organise over 100 events to celebrate the city's history, architecture and cultural heritage, aiming to give the general public a glimpse of sites they may not be aware of or typically get a chance to see – all for free.
As principal sponsor of the Winchester Heritage Open Days festival, Winchester College will host various events, all of which are concentrated on the second weekend, which runs from Thursday 19th to Sunday 22nd September. Last year's events at the school proved hugely popular with more than 1,250 people visiting the College and more than 1,000 members of the public joining us in the Treasury museum alone.
'Shifting sands in news coverage' by Alastair Stewart, ITV News journalist and presenter. (7pm, Friday 20th)
'A tale of two royal charters' by Professor Simon Keynes of Cambridge University, one of the world’s leading experts on Alfred the Great. (3pm, Saturday 21st)
For more information and tickets , visit Heritage Open Days
15th August 2019
As part of its commitment to improve access to all, the school has started to run tours for the visually impaired, which are providing a different perspective on many aspects of the school for everyone involved as guides and participants are encouraged to experience the medieval buildings and environment in new ways.
9th July 2019
To mark the 200th anniversary of Keats's time in Winchester, the school will host two public talks and a new exhibition about the poet.
27th June 2019
Falling in the First World War, former pupil, Captain William Miles Kington was only recently identified. Two of our teaching staff travelled to the Tyne Cot cemetery to attend the Ceremony of Rededication of his headstone.
18th June 2019
A beautiful new publication showcases 50 treasures from the school's outstanding collections.
6th June 2019
The D-Day Landing exhibition at Winchester College was created in 2008 from a collection of D-Day charts, documents and photographs found in the Fellows’ Library. The College Archivist explains how the exhibition came to be.
5th June 2019
BBC Four series, 'Victorian Sensations', visited Winchester College's Science School museum earlier this year to recreate one of Oliver Lodge’s pioneering experiments with electromagnetic waves.