THIS was founded by that illustrious and beneficent prelate William of Wykeham at the close of the 14th century for

A warden,70 poor scholars to be instructed in grammatical training, 10 secular priests, perpetual fellows three priests chaplins, three clerks and 6 choristers and a schoolmaster and undermaster for the instruction of the scholars.

Possession was taken of it March 28th 1393 and it was calculated by its founder to be a nursery for New College Oxon which he had just before completed in order to furnish his clergy with the highest branches of ecclesiastical learning.

There is a lofty tower to the street in which stands a large statue of the patroness, The Blessed virgin Mary. The same figure, with those of the angel Gabriel and of the founder upon his knees is seen on both sides of the second or middle tower. The first court is intersected by a modern-built house for the use of the warden. The second court is bounded to the south by a magnificent Gothic chapel, ornamented by a rich and curious tower. The inside of the chapel is not less striking than the outside of it , being remarkable for its bold and lofty vaulting, enriched with beautiful tracery, for  its large painted windows, for its beautiful and appropriate altar piece and for the ancient monuments and epitaphs of its warden and other members  which occur in what is called the ante –chapel. A great number of these, equally curious with the former, are to be seen in the Cloisters, which are spacious and elegant. In the area of the Cloisters stand the Library, which is a neat Gothic structure having been originally built for a chantry or chapel in which prayers used to be offered for the surrounding dead.

The school is a noble modern building, adorned on the outside with the statue of bishop Wykeham; and in the inside, with suitable inscriptions and emblems. Besides the arts of the College already mentioned, the Refectory or Eating–hall, likewise the Kitchen and an allegorical figure of a Trusty Servant near it are generally shewn to strangers.

At the close of the scholastic year the students break up with the solemn performance of the well known ode or song Dulce Domum. Adjoining to the College is a spacious modern building for the residence of the gentlemen commoners who live their under the inspection of the head-master and frequent the public school.

Text: A Short View of the History and Antiquities of Winchester with a Brief Account of the Seats of the Neighbouring Nobility, Gentry,&c. by The Reverend Dr Milner (1812)

Illustrations: A History of Winchester College by R. Ackermann (1815)

Jane Austen References

Jane Austen’s nephews, James Edward Austen, son of James Austen and the sons of Edward Austen Knight attended the school. She spent her last days in Winchester and died at Number 8 College Street, a rented house next to the Headmasters House at the school on the  on Friday, July 18th 1817, aged 41. She was buried at Winchester Cathedral on July 24th, 1817.

Links to AustenOnly Posts on Winchester College

Winchester College:A Place of “Future Heroes, Legislators, Fools and Vilains (sic)


The Letters


Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 8th February 1807

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 15th June 1808

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 7th october 1808

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 13th october 1808

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 24th October 1808

Letter to Cassandra Austen dated 9th December 1808

Letter to Martha Lloyd dateed 29th November 1812

Letter to Martha Lloyd dated 16th February 1813

Letter to Francis Austen dated 3rd July 1813

Letter to Anna Lefroy dated 22nd November 1814

Letter to JAmes Edward Austen dated 9th July 1816

Letter to JAme Edwar Austen dated 16th December 1816

Letter to JAmes Edward Austen dated 27th May 1817

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