Public Visits to Eton
School Yard lies at the heart of the ancient buildings of the School. On the north side we have Lower School (the first classroom to be built and still in use) and College (where the Foundation Scholars were originally housed and still are), while on the west side we have Upper School, built in the seventeenth century when Lower School became too small.
The south side is occupied by College Chapel. Building began in 1441, but the Founder’s original grandiose design could not be completed when Edward IV usurped the throne and cut off most of Eton’s revenues (the present building was to be just the choir of a much larger church). The Antechapel was completed in 1479, at Bishop Waynflete’s expense, to finish off the west end of the building. The Chapel is a fine example of fifteenth century Perpendicular Gothic architecture and is basically very simple — a single unit of strikingly satisfactory proportions. The wall paintings are among the most remarkable mediaeval wall paintings in Northern Europe, and the stained glass windows in the east end are equally remarkable. To the east lie the Cloisters, with College Hall (the original dining hall) and College Library.
The Museum of Eton Life is situated in the vaulted undercroft of College Hall and was formerly the cellar for the Hall and the Brewhouse nearby. It is approached via Brewhouse Yard. The Museum contains over 400 exhibits illustrating the life and history of Eton since its foundation in 1440. There are many unusual and interesting exhibits: memorabilia of the reign of Dr Keate (including his tricorn hat, birches, and ‘swishing block’); the Pilgrim Badge recalling the days of the Eton Pilgrimage for the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary; a mock-up of a Fourth of June procession boat; the re-creation of a boy’s room as it might have been in 1900; and a video of contemporary life in the School — click here for further details.
Souvenirs and Gifts
A range of souvenirs is available from the Gift Shop in the High Street.
Eton College is a working school community and there are some days on which school events make it necessary for it to be closed to the public. Contact the Visits Manager for details, by email, or by telephone (01753 671177 or 01753 671157).
Elsewhere in Eton, the College Natural History Museum is open on Sundays in term-time from 2.30pm until 5.00pm; admission is free. Eton's extensive natural history collections date back to 1875. Set in an historic building a short walk from College Chapel, modern displays illustrate items ranging from ecology of the Thames Valley to mimicry in South American butterflies. Click here to send the Curator an email.
Tour Options 2013
Further Details of Tours
Security Information for visitors
If you would like further information, please telephone the Visits Manager, Mrs Rebecca Hunkin, on 01753 671177, or click here to send an email.
For information about accommodation in and around Windsor, please click here.
For more information about things to do and places to stay in and around Windsor – including how to download the official visitor guide app to the area – please click here