Winchester College Publication A Winchester Walk - Page 10

A Winchester Walk 10
Wolvesey Castle .
the bridge and follow the path towards the extensive ruins of Wolvesey Castle ( now in the care of English Heritage , free to visitors ). To the left of the path , you can see the grand 17thcentury Baroque façade of Sir Thomas Fitch ’ s Wolvesey Palace , often mistaken as a work by Sir Christopher Wren . Built for Bishop Morley between 1662 and 1684 , as a replacement for Wolvesey Castle , the palace has been the official Winchester residence of Bishops of Winchester ever since . As you approach the ruins , look behind you towards the College , and then to the left of the palace and over the trees to the looming Norman tower of the Cathedral , two of the great views of Winchester .
The information panels in the ruins tell you much about the wealth and influence of the medieval Bishops of Winchester . William of Wykeham had , through hard work , ability , and ambition , risen high from unpromising origins , serving both Edward III and Richard II as Lord Chancellor ( the equivalent of Prime Minister ). He was enormously powerful : Froissart , a French
15th-century chronicler , would write , somewhat pointedly , that ‘ everything was done in England by his consent , and nothing was done without it ’.
Wykeham ’ s establishment of Winchester College , and his endowment of it with lands and estates , was in the hope that boys like him , bright but from modest backgrounds , would follow his example . Over 600 years later the College ’ s bursary programme ensures that the Founder ’ s aims continue . At the time of writing , about £ 3.5 million a year , largely derived from Wykehamists ’ bequests , is directed towards making possible the education of boys who would otherwise not be able to attend the school , and the Registrar is always happy to hear from any prospective pupils , especially if they might benefit in this way from the Founder ’ s benefaction .
Wykeham also intended that prayers for his soul would quicken his path through purgatory , of deep concern during the medieval period when Christians believed that years of punishment would be the consequence of crimes thought or realised . Medieval man thought it was possible
The Bishop ’ s Palace and Garden .