Dr Tim Hands
Winchester College, founded by William of Wykeham in 1382, is one of the world’s most famous and distinguished schools. The school is defined by its motto, Manners Makyth Man.
This motto is hundreds of years old but has a surprisingly modern spirit. Its sentiment is that we should be measured not by birth but by our personal qualities, a surprisingly meritocratic sentiment for a school that was founded in 1382.
Winchester College in the 21st Century
In Spring 2021, the Warden announced a new vision and significant programme of change for the school. This represents an exciting new phase in Winchester’s history, which will bring multiple benefits to this and future generations of Wykehamists.
The overarching focus is on increasing access, modernising what we teach and developing the school site.
More than 500 employees keep the school running, from the teachers (or dons) to the gardeners, catering and domestic staff. Add to that nearly 700 pupils, consisting of 70 Scholars and over 600 pupils in other houses, and you have the diverse and interconnected community that is Winchester College.
The school was built over 600 years ago between the cathedral close and the water meadows, on the edge of a city that was once England’s capital. Surrounded by Hampshire’s rolling downs and chalk streams, it enjoys a spacious and gentle setting within a lively, modern city. Many of the city’s ancient buildings remain, and the College is deeply fortunate that few, if any, are more beautiful than its own. John Keats described Winchester as ‘The pleasantest town I ever was in’, during his visit here in the autumn of 1819.
Winchester College is one of the country’s oldest surviving schools. The richness of its heritage and the legacy of its founder are appreciated by everyone who comes here.
Archives, Libraries and Treasury
Few people can claim to have sung from one of Elizabeth I’s own songbooks, or to have studied Shakespeare from a first folio. A great many treasures, from ancient vases to modern artworks, are to be found and experienced first-hand at Winchester.
The ultimate responsibility for Winchester College lies with its Governing Body, known as the Warden and the Fellows.