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ETON - THE TALE OF A TOWN AND COLLEGE

The beautiful buildings of Eton and the College warrant a good look and our aim at Windsor Tours is to help you notice the things the uninitiated will simply go by and tell you the story of the town and College from foundation in the 15th century. 

On Eton High Street

The first written mention of the town "Etonne" was in William the Conqueror's Doomsday Survey in 1086. In the 12th century the town of Eton was almost the size of Windsor and it stayed like that until the 19th century. Its development was prevented  geographically  by the river Thames at the South and East and by the College on its North side, as well as by old common rights that are still in force on the rest of the land. However, Eton boasts the earliest Victorian post box in England, still in use today, and the first modern drainage system.

Built by king Henry VI, the College was initially meant for 70 King's scholars, who lived and were educated on the premises, and a small number of  extra pupils who lived in the town and paid for their fees. Nowadays, the College has about 1,300 boy-students all of whom board and  still wear the old fashioned uniform: black tailcoat, waistcoat and pin-stripped trousers.

Eton College, Lower School

Eton has produced eighteen Prime Ministers of Great Britain, and many other famous politicians, as well as diplomats, civil servants, high members of the Church and martyrs. Many former Etonians have contributed to the sciences, the law and the arts. Several members of the Royal family and of other royal families in the world have also attended Eton College.

King George III was especially attached to Eton and its college. He attended numerous functions there, entertained the boys at the Castle and knew students and masters by name. To this day, George III's birthday, the 4th June, is celebrated as a special event which nowadays also marks the beginning of the Summer Long Leave. The Fourth of June is always held on the Wednesday closest to the 4th June and celebrated with 'speeches', cricket games and a colourful boat procession.

The grounds of Eton College

King of Siam's Gardens, Eton College

Eton College Building

Eton College Chapel

Eton College Library

 

 

 

 

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2007 Hugh Burn MITG