Winchester College

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Winchester College
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Winchester College
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Winchester College
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Winchester College
College Street

, ,
SO23 9NA

Coordinates 51°03′29″N1°18′47″W / 51.058°N 1.313°W / 51.058; -1.313 Coordinates: 51°03′29″N1°18′47″W / 51.058°N 1.313°W / 51.058; -1.313
Type Public school
Independent boarding school
MottoManners makyth man
Religious affiliation(s) Church of England
Founder William of Wykeham
Department for Education URN 116532 Tables
Warden Charles Sinclair
Headmaster Timothy Hands
Age13to 18
Houses11 (10 Commoner Houses plus college) College
A. Chernocke House (Furley’s)
B. Moberly’s (Toye’s)
C. Du Boulay’s (Cook’s)
D. Fearon’s (Kenny’s)
E. Morshead’s (Freddie’s)
F. Hawkins’ (Chawker’s)
G. Sergeant’s (Phil’s)
H. Bramston’s (Trant’s)
I. Turner’s (Hopper’s)
K. Kingsgate House (Beloe’s)
Colour(s)Blue, Brown & Red             
PublicationThe Wykehamist, Quelle, The Spirit Lamp, The Trusty Servant
Former pupils Old Wykehamists
School SongDulce Domum

Winchester College is an independent boarding school for boys in the British public school tradition, situated in Winchester, Hampshire. It has existed in its present location for over 600 years. It is the oldest of the original seven English public schools defined by the Clarendon Commission and regulated by the Public Schools Act 1868.

Independent school (United Kingdom) fee-paying school in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, independent schools are fee-paying private schools, governed by an elected board of governors and independent of many of the regulations and conditions that apply to state-funded schools. For example, pupils do not have to follow the National Curriculum. Many of the older, expensive and more exclusive schools catering for the 13–18 age-range in England and Wales are known as public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868, the term "public" being derived from the fact that they were then open to pupils regardless of where they lived or their religion. Prep (preparatory) schools educate younger children up to the age of 13 to "prepare" them for entry to the public schools and other independent schools. Some former grammar schools converted to an independent fee-paying model following the 1965 Circular 10/65 which marked the end of their state funding; others converted into comprehensive schools.

Boarding school School where some or all pupils live-in

A boarding school provides education for pupils who live on the premises, as opposed to a day school. The word "boarding" is used in the sense of "room and board", i.e. lodging and meals. As they have existed for many centuries, and now extend across many countries, their function and ethos varies greatly. Traditionally, pupils stayed at the school for the length of the term; some schools facilitate returning home every weekend, and some welcome day pupils. Some are for either boys or girls while others are co-educational.

Winchester city in Hampshire, England

Winchester is a city and the county town of Hampshire, England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs National Park, along the course of the River Itchen. It is situated 60 miles (97 km) south-west of London and 13.6 miles (21.9 km) from Southampton, its closest city. At the time of the 2011 Census, Winchester had a population of 45,184. The wider City of Winchester district which includes towns such as Alresford and Bishop's Waltham has a population of 116,800.


Official name

According to its statutes,[ specify ] the school is called in Latin Collegium Sanctae Mariae prope Wintoniam, or Collegium Beatae Mariae Wintoniensis prope Winton, which translates as St Mary's College, near Winchester, or The College of the Blessed Mary of Winchester, near Winchester. It is sometimes referred to by pupils, former pupils and others as "Win: Coll:", and is more widely known as just "Winchester".

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.


Winchester College was founded in 1382 by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor to both Edward III and Richard II, and the first 70 poor scholars entered the school in 1394.[ citation needed ] In the early 15th century the specific requirements was that that scholars come from families where the income was less than five marks sterling (£3 6s 8d) per annum; in comparison, the contemporary reasonable living for a yeoman was £5 per annum. [1] It was founded in conjunction with New College, Oxford, for which it was designed to act as a feeder: the buildings of both colleges were designed by master mason William Wynford. This double foundation was the model for Eton College and King's College, Cambridge, some 50 years later, and for Westminster School, Christ Church, Oxford, and Trinity College, Cambridge, in Tudor times.

William of Wykeham 14th-century Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England

William of Wykeham was Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England. He founded New College, Oxford, and New College School in 1379, and founded Winchester College in 1382. He was also the clerk of works when much of Windsor Castle was built.

Bishop of Winchester Diocesan bishop in the Church of England

The Bishop of Winchester is the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Winchester in the Church of England. The bishop's seat (cathedra) is at Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire.

Richard II of England 14th-century King of England and Duke of Aquitaine

Richard II, also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England from 1377 until he was deposed in 1399. Richard's father, Edward the Black Prince, died in 1376, leaving Richard as heir apparent to King Edward III. Upon the death of his grandfather Edward III, the 10-year-old Richard succeeded to the throne.

In addition to the 70 scholars and 16 "Quiristers" (choristers), the statutes provided for ten "noble Commoners". These Commoners ("Commoners in Collegio") were paying guests of the Headmaster or Second Master in his official apartments in College. Other paying pupils ("Commoners extra Collegium"), either guests of one of the Masters in his private house or living in lodgings in town, grew in numbers till the late 18th century, when they were all required to live in "Old Commoners" and town boarding was banned. In the 19th century this was replaced by "New Commoners", and the numbers fluctuated between 70 and 130: the new building was compared unfavourably to a workhouse, and as it was built over an underground stream, epidemics of typhus and malaria were common.

In the late 1850s four boarding houses were planned (but only three built: those referred to as A, B and C), to be headed by housemasters: the plan, since dropped, was to increase the number of scholars to 100 so that there would be "College", "Commoners" and "Houses" consisting of 100 pupils each. In the 1860s "New Commoners" was closed and converted to classrooms, and its members were divided among four further boarding houses (D, E, G and H, collectively known as "Commoner Block"). At the same time two more houses (F and I) were acquired and added to the "Houses" category (more formally known as Old Tutors' Houses or O.T.H.); a tenth (K) was acquired in 1905 and allotted to "Commoners". (The distinction between "Commoners" and "Houses" is now of purely sporting significance (see Winchester College Football), and "a Commoner" now means any pupil who is not a scholar.) There are therefore now ten houses in addition to College, which continues to occupy the original 14th-century buildings, and the total number of pupils is almost 700. From the late 1970s there has been a continual process of extension to and upgrading of College Chambers.

In British education, a housemaster is a member of [male] staff in charge of a boarding house, normally at a boarding school. The housemaster is responsible for the supervision and care of boarders in the house and typically lives on the premises. The term houseparent is also sometimes used, most commonly when a married couple share the role. In addition, there is often an assistant housemaster acting as a deputy.


The seventy Scholars live in the original buildings, known as College; an individual scholar is known as a "Collegeman". College is not usually referred to as a house: hence the terms 'housemaster of College' and 'College house' are not generally used. The schoolmaster in charge of College is now known as the 'Master in College', though these duties formerly belonged to the Second Master. Within the school, 'College' refers only to the body of scholars, and their buildings; 'Winchester College' and 'the college' refer to the school as a whole.

A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further their education. Scholarships are awarded based upon various criteria, which usually reflect the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award. Scholarship money is not required to be repaid.

Boarding houses

Official NameInformal NameHouse Letter
Chernocke HouseFurley'sA
Du Boulay'sCook'sC
Sergeant's Phil'sG
Kingsgate HouseBeloe'sK

Every pupil at Winchester, apart from the Scholars, lives in a boarding house, chosen or allocated when applying to Winchester. It is here that he studies, eats and sleeps. Each house is presided over by a housemaster (who takes on the role in addition to teaching duties) and a number of house tutors (usually five or six – Mon to Fri). Houses compete in school competitions, mostly in sporting competitions. Each house has an official name, usually based on the family name of the first housemaster, which is used mainly as a postal address. Each house also has an informal name, which is more frequently used in speech, usually based on the name or nickname of an early housemaster. Each house also has a letter assigned to it, in the order of their founding, to act as an abbreviation, especially on laundry tags. A member of a house is described by the informal name of the house with "-ite" suffixed, as "a Furleyite", "a Toyeite", "a Cookite" and so on. The houses have been ordered by their year of founding. College does not have an informal name, although the abbreviation Coll is sometimes used, especially on written work. It also has a letter assigned to it, X, but it is considered bad form to use this except as a laundry mark or in lists of sporting fixtures. [lower-alpha 1]

Boarding house house in which lodgers rent one or more rooms for one or more nights

A boarding house is a house in which lodgers rent one or more rooms for one or more nights, and sometimes for extended periods of weeks, months, and years. The common parts of the house are maintained, and some services, such as laundry and cleaning, may be supplied. They normally provide "room and board," that is, at least some meals as well as accommodation.

Each house also had a set of house colours, which adorned the ribbon worn around boys' "strats" (straw hats). The wearing of strats was abolished for Commoners in around 1984 – Collegemen had ceased to wear them years earlier. They can however still occasionally be seen being sported on Winchester Day. House colours are now used on socks and "pussies", scarves awarded for exceptional contribution to the house or society.


Winchester has its own entrance examination, and does not use Common Entrance like other major public schools. Those wishing to enter a Commoner House make their arrangements with the relevant housemaster some two years before sitting the exam, usually sitting a test set by the housemaster and an interview. Those applying to College do not take the normal entrance examination but instead sit a separate, harder, exam called "Election": successful candidates may obtain, according to their performance, a scholarship, an exhibition or a Headmaster's nomination to join a Commoner House (without remission of fees).

Admission to College is on academic merit, as measured in the Election examination, regardless of financial means, though the original statutes specified that the foundation existed for poor scholars and required entrants to take an oath that their net income did not exceed a figure chosen as the average income for the time. Scholars enjoyed a remission of fees, amounting for much of the 20th century to two-thirds of the total. This remission has since been progressively reduced, and is due to be abolished altogether. [2] The intention is to maintain the academic and institutional distinction between Scholars and Commoners, while using the money saved to fund bursaries for those pupils least able to pay, Scholars and Commoners alike.

Academic structure

Until the 1860s the predominant subject of instruction was classics, and there was one main schoolroom used as both the classroom and the place of preparation, under extremely noisy conditions: there were adjacent rooms used for French and mathematics. Under the headmastership of George Ridding proper classrooms were built, and pupils had the option of joining "Parallel Div" for the study of history and modern languages. Later still a "Sen: Science Div" was added. Science teaching at Winchester had a high reputation: one of the early science masters duplicated the experiments of Hertz about radio waves, the equipment for which is still preserved at Science School.

For much of the 20th century the senior forms were divided among three "ladders": the A ladder for classics, the B ladder for history and modern languages and the C ladder for mathematics and science. There was also a vertical division, in descending order, into Sixth Book (equivalent to the sixth form at other schools), Senior Part, Middle Part and Junior Part: depending on ability, new boys were placed in either Junior or Middle Part.

The school now offers a wide range of subjects, and no longer has a system of ladders. In 2008 it abandoned A-level as its matriculation credential and adopted the Cambridge Pre-U on the grounds that this will strengthen the quality of the school's intellectual life. In addition to normal lessons, all boys throughout the school are required to attend a class called Division (Div for short) which focuses on parts of history, literature, and politics that do not lead to external examinations; its purpose is to ensure a broad education that does not focus solely on examinations.

Results and universities

At Pre-U, 49.3% of grades achieved were D1 or D2, and 86.4% of grades achieved were D1-M1 in 2018. 68.4% of GCSEs were graded A* or equivalent (9 or 8), in comparison to 62.5% in 2017; 92.1% were graded A*/A or equivalent (9,8 or 7), in comparison to 90.5% in 2017. There were 36 Oxbridge offers; 18 at Oxford and 18 at Cambridge. [3] The school offers the shortest list of exam subjects of any reputable sixth form in England. Chemistry and physics are the most popular Pre-U subjects, closely followed by history and English literature. Philosophy and theology are also popular. There is no great number of GCSE choices either: all boys sit IGCSEs in at least two of three sciences, Maths, English, GCSE Latin, and usually three or four other subjects which include: modern foreign languages, Greek, Geography, Art, DT and Music.

Pre U summary: last five years [4]

YEAR% D1/D2% D1/D2/D3% D1 to M2

A-level equivalents: D1=A*+ D2=A* D3=A M1=A/B M2=B/C M3=C P1=C/D P2=D P3=E U=U


Situated on the south side of Chamber Court, the chapel is part of the original college buildings and retains its original wooden fan-vaulted ceiling. Built to accommodate just over 100 people, it long ago became too small to accommodate the whole school (currently 690 boys). Additional seating installed in the re-ordering and extension carried out by the Victorian architect Butterfield allows the chapel to seat 320 people. On Sundays half the houses worship in Chapel, while the other half worship (at the same time) in St Michael's Church (known as Michla), a redundant parish church central among the boarding houses, which the College took over in the last century. Weekly choral services are sung by the Choir in Chapel on Tuesdays and by the Quiristers on Thursday and Saturday evenings in Fromond's Chantry, which is in the middle of the cloisters. Roman Catholic boys attend mass every Sunday morning in St Michael's Church.

A striking feature of the chapel is its stained glass. The East window depicts the stem of Jesse. Down the chapel's north and south sides is a collection of saints. Little of the original medieval glass, designed by Thomas Glazier, survives. A firm of glaziers in Shrewsbury was tasked with cleaning the glass in the 1820s. At that time there was no known process for cleaning the badly deteriorated glass and so it was copied, while most of the original glass was scattered or destroyed. Some pieces have been recovered. The south west corner holds the largest piece, bought and donated by Kenneth Clark. Five other figures bequeathed by Otto von Kienbusch and two more donated by Coleorton Church, Leicestershire were placed in Fromond's Chantry in 1978.

Until Victorian times the chapel was divided into a chapel and ante-chapel, and had decorative panelling. This panelling was recovered by the school in the 1960s and used in the building of New Hall, the school concert hall, the design of which was specifically planned so as to house it.

The Chapel Choir sings regular services in the Chapel, as well as other venues. This consists of sixteen Quiristers (who attend The Pilgrims' School) and a similar number of senior boys and a few dons (masters). A non-quirister choir sings the services in St Michael's Church.

The exterior of the Chapel and the Hall underwent extensive restoration of the stonework at the end of the twentieth century.

War Cloister

Winchester College War Cloister Winchester College War Cloister.jpg
Winchester College War Cloister

Situated to the west of Meads, this cloister serves as a memorial to the Wykehamist dead of the two World Wars. It was designed by Sir Herbert Baker and dedicated in 1924 and again in 1948.

A bronze bust of Old Boy Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding sits on the west side of the cloister.

War Cloister occupies a strategic position on Kingsgate Street (accessed via "South Africa Gate", which commemorates the Wykehamist dead of the 1899–1902 Boer War), so that most Commoners go through it on their way to and from class. (Furleyites, Beloeites and Freddyites tend to walk past the Common Room and the Queen Elizabeth II theatre, then along Meads Path.)

Another older war memorial in the school is the entry chamber to Chapel, known as "Crimea" after the Crimean War of 1853-56, and bearing the names of Wykehamists who died at the siege of Sebastopol.

Prefectorial system


Traditionally there were always 18 prefects in College, though since the mid-20th century there have been fewer, 10 to 14 being typical. Of these, five (later increased to six) hold salaried offices. Historically, these were as follows, in descending order of seniority:

The post of Jun: Cap: Prae: (junior chapel prefect) has recently been abolished and has been replaced by Ollae Praefectus (Oll: Prae:), which literally translates as "prefect of tub". (This is the revival of an ancient office, which was suppressed in the 19th century when the office of Bib: Prae: was created. The duties were to do with catering, especially the disposal of uneaten food from College lunch, which was collected in a special wooden vat and given to the poor. This vat or tub is still on display in College Hall.)

Each Officer, in addition to his specialized duties, has charge of a College Chamber (day-room). Thus when IVth Chamber was reopened, increasing the number of chambers to six, a sixth Officer was created, the Coll: Lib: Prae:, in charge of Upper Coll: Lib: (the fiction library available to Collegemen). The post had previously existed informally, but the holder used not to rank as an Officer. [lower-alpha 2]

Formerly, there were one or two (originally five) further prefects "in full power", invariably, though improperly, known as Co: Praes. Officers and Co: Praes had authority throughout the school; the remaining prefects had authority only in College. Nowadays, while there are still six officers, they have little to do with the running of the school and are mainly responsible for their respective chambers, and there are no other College Co: Praes. In practice, only the Prefect of Hall has significant duties outside College.

The present practice is for all fifth-years in College to be prefects. Each officer nominates a prefect from those members of his year who are not officers to act as his deputy within his chamber; any prefects left over are sometimes known as "Jemimas" (reason unknown). The seven senior inferiors (non-prefects) in College are known as Custodes Candelarum (tollykeepers), but this is a purely nominal dignity. The next senior person in a chamber after the prefects and tollykeepers was once known as the in loco, and kept the accounts for Chamber Tea.

Commoner Houses

Outside College there is a Sen: Co: Prae: (Senior Commoner Prefect), who acts as joint Head Boy with the Prefect of Hall. There are then a number of Co: Praes (Commensalibus Praefecti, Commoner Prefects) with authority over all Commoners: traditionally, no Commoner has authority over any Collegeman. Nowadays, there is generally only one Co: Prae: per house, who acts as the senior house prefect. However, in the house where the "Sen: Co: Prae:" is resident, there is sometimes another "Co: Prae:" who has been nominated as the Head of House. In addition, each house has a number of House Prefects, with authority only in that house. The Co: Praes (heads of houses) meet weekly together with the Prefect of Hall and Head Master to discuss the running of the school.


A notion is a manner or tradition peculiar to Winchester College. The word notion is also used to refer to unique and peculiar words used (with diminishing frequency) in the school. An example is "toytime", meaning prep or homework, from the 'toys' or individual cubicles that formerly served as pupils' workspace in the communal chamber, or 'mugging hall' for Commoners. "Notions" can also refer to more recent slang, some of which features the altering of vowels in certain words for facetious emphasis.

The Notions Test was until recently an important tradition in most houses, in which juniors were required to answer questions about notions. Although now banned on various grounds including the European human rights conventions, the test was usually administered to new boys during their first term at the school by more senior boys, and aimed to test and demonstrate their familiarity with the vocabulary, history and traditions of the school. College Notions was more elaborate and continued for a few years longer than the Commoner tests. It took the form of an end-of-term celebration and marked the point at which new Collegemen formally became known as Jun: Men.


Current pupils of Winchester College are known as Wykehamists, in memory of the school's founder, William of Wykeham; former pupils are known as Old Wykehamists, [5] or amongst themselves as Old Woks. [6]


Winchester College has its own game, Winchester College football (also known as 'Win: Co: Fo:' or, more recently, 'Winkies'), played only at Winchester. It is played in Common Time (the spring term), the main game in Short Half (the autumn term) being Association football. In Cloister Time (the summer term) the main sports are tennis and cricket.

Winchester Football could be considered a cross between football and rugby, though this analogy shouldn't be taken too far since there are significant differences. For example, the ball can only be carried, like in rugby, if caught full toss. Furthermore, no football-type "dribbling" is allowed since the player may not touch the ball more than once at a time. Neither can the ball be passed to a team-mate, except by back-heeling to a teammate behind. Furthermore, a player who finds himself upfield must return to the point at which his teammate last kicked the ball before being able to join in the game again, unless in the interim an opposite player has touched the ball. The current form of the game can be played by teams of 6, 9, 10, 11, or 15. There are also rugby-type scrums known as "hots", which feature 8 forwards in the 15-player version and 3 in the 6-player version of the game. The objective is to kick the ball over the opponent's goal line ("worms"). The field ("canvas") is 73 m (240 ft) long and 24.5 m (60 ft) wide. It is delimited lengthwise by canvas netting and by posts threaded with a heavy rope that run parallel 1 metre inside the netting, and 1 metre above the ground.

There is also a distinctive Winchester version of Fives, resembling Rugby Fives but with a buttress on the court. Winchester currently has 4 active Winchester fives courts. It has been claimed that Rugby Fives and Winchester Fives are both forms of "Wessex Fives", and that Thomas Arnold took with him the game of Wessex Fives he played as a boy at what is now Warminster School when he became the Headmaster of Rugby School.

In 1647, a Latin poem by Robert Matthew contains a probable reference to cricket being played by pupils of Winchester College on nearby St Catherine’s Hill. If authentic, this is the earliest known mention of cricket in the county of Hampshire. [7]

At one time Winchester was one of the Lord's schools, competing in a trilateral cricket tournament with Eton and Harrow; and for this reason the first cricket eleven is still known as "Lords" (with or without the apostrophe). Since 1855 Winchester has not taken part in this, instead playing Eton alternately at the two schools. Eton Match, when played at Winchester, was until recently the major event attended by Old Wykehamists and the main showcase for the school and its activities, but now most of the non-cricket-related functions have been moved to "Wykeham Day" in the autumn. Eton Match itself has now been replaced by "Winchester Day", featuring a match between Wykehamists and Old Wykehamists. The cricket ground has held one first-class match, held in 1875 when Hampshire played Kent. [8]

Rackets is also played. Should the same person be Captain of Lord's and Captain of Rackets, he is known as "Lord of Lords and Prince of Princes", in allusion to Prince's Club in London.

The "Winchester Ice Club" was formed in 1904 by R. L. G. Irving; amongst its first members was George Mallory, who later died on Mount Everest.

Combined Cadet Force

Pupils of the school in their second year are currently required to serve in the College's Combined Cadet Force. [9]

The organisation was founded in 1860 as "The Winchester College Rifle Volunteer Corps" by various boys in their top year as a result of the perceived threat of Napoleon III after the Orsini plot, and remained entirely autonomous until it was taken over by the Second Master in 1868. It was enrolled as a Cadet Corps in the 1st Hants Volunteer Battalion. In 1908, the Officer Training Corps was established, and by 1914, through the request of the War Office that Senior Cadets be given appropriate training for the war effort, almost every student became involved in the Corps, though it was never explicitly compulsory. In the Second World War, it was renamed as "The Junior Training Corps", though its function was still to prepare boys for Officer responsibilities. Montgomery remarked on inspecting the Corps in 1946 that there was "latent leadership in all ranks". In 1948, the "Junior Training Corps" became known as the "Combined Cadet Force" (CCF) which incorporated RAF and RN sections. In 1963, "Alternative Service Activities" were introduced for boys who did not want to join the CCF. Pupils were made eligible to opt out of the CCF at the end of their second year after starting at the beginning of the year: this is still the school's policy. [10] In 2010, Winchester's Combined Cadet Force received the Queen's Colours, a regimental decoration. [11]


William Waynflete (Headmaster 1430 to 1441) WilliamWaynflete.jpg
William Waynflete (Headmaster 1430 to 1441)
Hubert Burge (Headmaster 1901 to 1911), from Vanity Fair Hubert Burge by Spy.jpg
Hubert Burge (Headmaster 1901 to 1911), from Vanity Fair

Former pupils

See List of Old Wykehamists


The school song is "Dulce Domum", which is sung on the approach of and at the break-up of the school for the summer holidays, and on other occasions when a school song is normally sung. It is also sung at Abingdon School, Twyford School and Stamford School under similar circumstances, and was popular among 19th-century English public schoolboys. For example, it is mentioned in the early chapters of Tom Brown's School Days . Paradoxically, although the subject of the song is the joy of breaking from the school grind and returning home for the holidays, it is often taken as symbolising the idyllic, nostalgic view of English public school life in the 19th century. It should not be confused with another song of the same name, but with completely different tune and lyrics, written by Robert S. Ambrose.

The traditional tune [13] [14] was composed by John Reading. A new tune, by Malcolm Archer, was officially adopted by the school in about 2007. [15]

According to legend, the text was composed in the 17th century by a pupil who was confined for misconduct during the Whitsun holidays. [16] (In one account, he was tied to a pillar.) It is said that he carved the words on the bark of a tree, which was thereafter called "Domum Tree", and cast himself into Logie (the river running through the school grounds). [17] There is still a "Domum Cottage" in that area.

The chorus of the song (in Latin, with English translation) runs:

Domum, domum, dulce domum!
Domum, domum, dulce domum;
Dulce, dulce dulce domum!
Dulce domum resonemus.

Home, home, joyous home! (or: Homeward, homeward, joyously homeward!)
Home, home, joyous home!
Joyous, joyous, joyous home!
Hurrah for joyous home!

The author of the text apparently wrongly treated domum as a neuter noun. [18] However, domum could also be the accusative of domus, meaning "homeward", making dulce an adverb, so the phrase dulce domum would mean "sweetly homewards" rather than the apparent "sweet home", though the usual adverb meaning "sweetly" is "dulciter".

A "Domum Dinner" is held at the end of the summer term for leavers. It was formerly restricted to those former scholars of Winchester who were also scholars of New College, and distinguished guests. Until the reforms of the 19th century, there were three successive Election Dinners held during Election Week, culminating in a Domum Ball. Originally these festivities occurred around Whitsun, as suggested by references to early summer such as "See the year, the meadow, smiling" and "Now the swallow seeks her dwelling" in the song. [13] When Election Week was moved to the end of the summer term (June or July) the Domum celebrations were moved with it, though the Whitsun references remained.

The Trusty Servant

The Trusty Servant: 19th-century print Winchester Trusty Servant 2.jpg
The Trusty Servant: 19th-century print

A 1579 wall-painting of The Trusty Servant by the poet John Hoskins hangs outside the college kitchen. It depicts a mythical creature with the body of a man, the head of a pig, its snout closed with a padlock, the ears of a donkey, the feet of a stag, and holding working tools in his left hand. It is accompanied by allegorical verses on the virtues that pupils of the college were supposed to have. The college arms are shown in the background. [19] [20]

"The Trusty Servant" is also the name of a magazine published for Old Wykehamists.

Winchester quotations

Manners makyth man
William of Wykeham Motto of Winchester College and New College, Oxford

Broad of Church and broad of mind,
Broad before and broad behind,
A keen ecclesiologist,
A rather dirty Wykehamist.
John Betjeman "The Wykehamist"

Leader in London's preservation lists
And least Wykehamical of Wykehamists{:}
Clan chief of Paddington's distinguished set,
Pray go on living to a hundred yet!
John Betjeman "For Patrick" (about Patrick Balfour, 3rd Baron Kinross)

You can always tell a Wykehamist, but you can never tell him much
– Anon.

These Wykehamists have the kind of mind that likes to relax by composing Alcaics on the moving parts of their toy trains.
Evelyn Waugh

Would you doubt the word of a Wykehamist?
Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon

O, Eternal God, the Life and the Resurrection of all them that believe in Thee, always to be praised as well for the Dead as for those that be Alive, we give Thee most hearty Thanks for our Founder, William of Wykeham; and all other our Benefactors, by whose Benefits we are here brought up to Godliness and the studies of good Learning; beseeching Thee that we, well using all these Thy Blessings to the Praise and Honour of Thy Holy Name, may at length be brought to the Immortal Glory of the Resurrection, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
– "Thanksgiving for the Founder" as at present used on commemoration days


In 2005, Winchester College was one of fifty of the country's leading independent schools which were found guilty of running an unlawful price-fixing cartel by the Office of Fair Trading ("OFT"). [21] All of the schools involved agreed to make penalty payments totalling three million pounds into a trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in which fee information was shared. [22] The OFT offered both Winchester College and Eton a fifty percent reduction in their penalties in return for their full cooperation with the investigation. [23] However, Jean Scott, the head of the Independent Schools Council, said that independent schools had always been exempt from anti-cartel rules applied to business, were following a long-established procedure in sharing the information with each other, and that they were unaware of the change to the law (on which they had not been consulted). She wrote to John Vickers, the OFT director-general, saying, "They are not a group of businessmen meeting behind closed doors to fix the price of their products to the disadvantage of the consumer. They are schools that have quite openly continued to follow a long-established practice because they were unaware that the law had changed." [24]

Examination fraud

In 2017 Winchester College suspended a member of the staff for providing students with information about questions on an upcoming public exam. [25] The headmaster of Winchester confirmed that the school had treated the matter "very seriously" and that no boy was responsible for the "exam irregularity". The information was widely distributed resulting in their papers being disallowed. [26] [27]

Southern Railway V ("Schools") Class Locomotive No. 901

As with a number of other prominent independent schools in the South of England, a locomotive of the Southern Railway V Class was named after Winchester College. The second locomotive of the class, No. 901 Winchester was, like the other 39 V Class engines, constructed by the Southern at Eastleigh Works, not far away from the city of Winchester itself, and entered service in 1930. Winchester was one of those examples of the class selected by the railway's new chief mechanical engineer Oliver Bulleid for rebuilding with a Lemaître multiple-jet blastpipe and wide-diameter chimney from 1939 onwards. Upon passing into British Railways ownership due to the nationalisation of the railways in 1948, as an ex-SR machine Winchester was accordingly renumbered 30901. Like many members of the class, during 1962 No. 30901 was viewed as surplus to requirements, largely due to both increasing use of diesel traction and an expansion of the third-rail electrified network across former Southern Railway territory, and withdrawn from service. [28]

See also


  1. In the early 20th century the Commoner Houses were limited to 35 members each, and for sporting purposes College was divided into "College East" and "College West", denoted by X and Y respectively. This division is now wholly obsolete.
  2. In the nineteenth century and before, when there were seven chambers, there was no requirement that the prefect in charge of a chamber should be an Officer. For example, the Prefect of Hall's toys was always physically in Sixth Chamber, but technically he was not a member of that (or any) chamber and the next senior prefect in the chamber took charge of it.

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Further reading