Eton College - A College with a Lot of History

By Renato
Eton College
Eton Windsor - Berkshire (Inglaterra) (SL4 6DW)
Phone: 01753 370600
Eton College

Eton is an in-house school for boys ages 13-18 and has approximately 1,300 students. Although it is called the Public School, it is a super-elite school with annual fees of 35,000 pounds.

Fundade and 1440 by Henry VI has a unique architecture, museums with collections of unique objects, a chapel and lots of culture and history. The College is approximately 1 mile from Windsor Castle, and is easy passage for anyone visiting the castle, however entry to the college is only on Fridays from 13:45 to 15:45 for 10 pounds and should be scheduled on the website. The museums have open access to the public only on Sundays.

The History of Eton College

The Eton College was founded in 1440 by then King Henry VI as “Kynge’s College of Our Lady of Eton besyde Windesore” to provide free education to 70 poor boys who then went to King’s College in Cambridge that the king himself founded 1441. When Henry founded the school, he made a large number of donations, but when he was deposed by Edward IV in 1461, the new king removed most of his possessions and treasures to the Chapel of St. George in Windsor on the other side of the river.

The earliest records of school life date back to the sixteenth century and depict a spartan and regimented life. Scholars were awakened at 5 am, sang prayers as they dressed, and worked in high school at 6 in the morning.

The school came into prominence during the reign of George III (1760-1820). George spent most of his time in Windsor and often visited the school which in turn George’s birthday on June 4 a holiday. Although these celebrations never fell that day, Eton’s “Fourth of June” marked by “speeches”, cricket, a boat procession and picnics in “Agar’s Plow” remains an important occasion in the school year.

The collections of Eton College

The College has a large collection of rare items, books, art, photography and natural species ranging from prehistory to the present day. The museums also include a series of Brazilian objects and specimens. Much of this material is used nowadays in classrooms and can be seen in the galleries and museum of the college.

Various materials of the history of the college including the letter of its foundation, dated 11 of October of 1440, that indicates the intention of Henry VI to found a school can be seen in “archives of the College“.

Museum of Antiquities

The Eton Museum of Antiquities has a large legacy of Egyptian artifacts and objects from the excavations of Florence plus many other objects from various areas and time: from Australia to Afghanistan and from Peru to Babylon. Tools and weapons were dredged from the Thames and the Tiber; of Knossos in Crete and the foundations of a pension in Eton. And that’s not to mention the breathtaking collection of Paleolithic axes dating back to long before the emergence of homo sapiens.

Antiques have an international reputation, and items have already been exhibited in France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain and the USA.

Opening hours: Sunday afternoon from 14:30 to 17:00
The Jafar Gallery is on South Meadow Lane, Eton, SL4 6EW.

Museum collections can be explored in  online catalog.

Library of the College

The library has a rare collection of books and manuscripts of international importance. Founded just after the founding of Eton College, it houses more than 150,000 items, ranging from the 9th to the 21st centuries. These include printed and manuscript volumes, literary manuscripts, autograph letters, and prints and drawings.

She is also responsible for the materials of the Macnaghten Library of World War I, presented to Eton as a memorial in 1938.

Fine and Decorative Art

This collection includes paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, ceramics, furniture, stained glass and fabrics. A large part of the collection was generously donated to college by alumni and their families.

The Natural History Museum

More than 16,000 specimens and objects are housed in the museum, exploring themes that include the wildlife, biodiversity, evolution and ecology of the Thames Valley. The museum was created to house the Thackeray Collection of British Poultry and was opened in 1875, 20 years later moved to its current site.

Unique exhibits include a rare page of survivors of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, and material related to the Etonian botanist Sir Joseph Banks, who sailed with Captain Cook. There are also extensive collections of insects (mainly butterflies and moths), the William Hincks Herbarium, a complete set of Florilegium, fossils and bird eggs.

Opening hours: Sunday afternoon from 14:30 to 17:00

The Chapel


When inaugurated, Henry VI placed the Eton Chapel as one of the most important and active in Europe, with 14 cults every day and Masses offered by the souls of the Founder’s parents and, after the Founder’s death, by the Founder. which reflected the strongly held belief in the late Middle Ages that prayers and Masses for the soul of a dead person hastened the progress of that soul from Purgatory to Paradise.

The murals in the chapel are the most important work of art of the College. They are the work of at least four master painters who took eight years to complete them (1479-87). In the Flemish style, they decorate the stone sides of the chapel. On the north side, the paintings portray the miracles of the Virgin Mary (to whom the Chapel is dedicated), while those on the south side tell a popular medieval story about a mythical empress.

The paintings have an interesting history of life. They were covered in 1560 as a result of an order from the Protestant church authorities, banning images of fictitious miracles. They remained forgotten for about 300 years before the rediscovery in 1847 and it was only in 1923 that they were revealed by the removal of capes and the paintings were subsequently cleaned and restored.


Viajar é conhecer lugares diferentes. Nossa proposta não é apenas viajar para os locais, é ir além. É passar um período maior, interagir com as pessoas da cidade e sentir a cultura e o dia a dia de cada local. Da lista de países que conheci, optei por morar em alguns lugares para vivenciar a experiência com mais profundidade e poder compartilhar com mais detalhes e exatidão além de descobrir os segredos de cada local, não se limitando aos pontos turísticos mais famosos.

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