Winchester College

Winchester College is a public school in the city of Winchester in Hampshire, in the south of England. It could be said to be the original public school and the model for later schools like Eton and Harrow. Officially called "Collegium Santae Mariae prope Wintoniensem", or "St. Mary's College, Winchester", the college is commonly referred to as "Win: Coll:" or just "Winchester". Winchester has existed for over six hundred years and claims to have the longest unbroken history of any school in England.



Winchester College was founded in 1382 by William of Wykeham, the Bishop of Winchester and High Chancellor of England, who also founded New College, Oxford. Current and former pupils are still referred to as Wykehamists after the founder.

The school's original purpose was to educate "seventy poor and needy scholars", but because the Scholars now have only half of their school fees waived, the majority aren't as "poor and needy" as their medieval predecessors. Nevertheless, the school continues to offer bursaries of up to the full amount in cases of genuine financial need. Starting in 2005, new Scholars entering College, the Scholars' house, will have a basic scholarship of 25% with additional means-tested bursaries.

The school also took a few paying students, known as "Commoners". Originally there were only about 10, rising steadily until the early 19th century, when their numbers were approximately equal to those of the Scholars. In the late 1850s and throughout the 1860s, the numbers expanded dramatically as nine new boarding houses were built. One more boarding house was built in 1905, bringing the total to the current 11 (including College, which continues to occupy the original 14th century buildings), and the total number of pupils to almost 700. A twelfth boarding house is currently in the planning stage.

As of May 2003, the current headman is T R Cookson, who succeeded Dr. Nicholas Tate, when he resigned in 2003[1] ( Ralph Townsend will take over from Mr Cookson when he retires in September 2005.

Winchester Notions

A notion is a manner or tradition peculiar to Winchester College. The word notion is also used to refer to the dialect of English spoken at the school. See Notion (slang).

Winchester College Football

Winchester College has its own game, Winchester College Football.

Former pupils

Famous former pupils include:

List of Boarding Houses

Each house has an official name, used mainly as a postal address, and an informal name, usually based on the familiar name of the original housemaster. Each house also has a letter assigned to it, in the order of their founding, to act as an abbreviation.

Official Name Informal Name House Letter
Chernocke House Furley's A
Moberly's Toye's B
Du Boulay's Cook's C
Fearon's Kenny's or Kennaez D
Morshead's Freddie's E
Hawkin's Chawker's F
Sergeant's Phil's G
Bramston's Trant's H
Turner's Hopper's I
Kingsgate House Beloe's K

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 other than as a laundry mark.

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