Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Winchester College (Winchester)

Winchester College is one of England's most famous public schools, as well as one of the oldest, and is situated in the ancient cathedral city of Winchester.

The main entrance is in College Street, opposite the walls to the close of Winchester Cathedral and to Wolvesey Palace.

Winchester College was founded by William of Wykeham in 1382, hence the students' nickname "Wykehamists". It was set up originally, as St. Mary's College, to train seventy scholars for a career in the church. Their education was to be continued at New College, Oxford, which Wykeham also founded.

The architect was William Wynford, who also designed the nave of the cathedral.

The college chapel contains the tomb-effigy of William of Wykeham, and the vaulted timber roof is by Hugh Herland, who also created the roof of Westminster Hall, now part of the Houses of Parliament. The chapel tower was designed by Christopher Wren in about 1680.

The gateway was completed in 1397, and has a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Old boys of Winchester College include Dr Thomas Arnold; Matthew Arnold; Thomas Browne; William Collins; Richard Crossman; Lord Dowding; Bishop Thomas Ken; Sidney Smith; Arnold Toynbee; Anthony Trollope; and Nicholas Udall.

The riverside walk beside the Itchen is where John Keats composed his "Ode to Autumn" ("season of mists and mellow fruitfulness....")

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