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A Royal Institution with a Rich History

Eton College

By Tabby LondonPublished 30 days ago 3 min read
Eton College

Nestled in the charming town of Slough in Berkshire, Eton College has been at the heart of British education for centuries. Its proximity to Windsor Castle made it a convenient spot for the nation's elite, including Princes William and Harry, who often visited their grandmother during their time there.

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Founded in 1440 by King Henry VI, Eton has shaped the minds of 19 British Prime Ministers, numerous princes, and many members of the Royal Family. It's one of the most famous schools in the world, and with annual fees of around £42,000, it's also one of the most exclusive.

Eton High Street

Walking through Eton's historic grounds, especially along the beautiful Eton High Street, feels like stepping back in time and experiencing its rich heritage.

Quintessentially English

**The History of Eton College**

Established in 1440 as 'The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor,' Eton is a boarding school for boys aged 13 to 18. It proudly is the 18th oldest member of the prestigious Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC). The college's founding charter highlighted its mission to educate 'poor schoolers.'

The Courtyard

In 1502, King's Hall was incorporated into Eton College. Henry VIII expanded the college's buildings, and in 1557, he granted a new charter, officially making it a public school. The scholars from King's Hall were called 'King's men,' while those at Eton were 'King's scholars.'

The Uniform

King Edward VI, distinguished for his national services, tragically died of tuberculosis on 6 July 1553, having reigned for only two years.

A Prestigious Legacy

Though Eton is known for educating the sons of privilege, about 30% of the students receive financial support, with 70 boys attending for free. The school, which started with 270 boys in 1638, now has around 1,300 students aged 13 to 18, supported by about 250 teaching staff and numerous support personnel.

Eton's impressive facilities offer various sports, drama, and music amenities. The school also caters to students who prefer to focus on their academic pursuits.

Sartorial Traditions

Eton is famous for its traditions, including a distinctive uniform of a black tailcoat (or morning coat), a black waistcoat, a starched stiff collar, and black pinstriped trousers. Most students wear a white "tie," a narrow strip of cloth folded over the collar joint to cover the collar stud, while some senior boys are entitled to wear a white bow tie and winged collar.

Corporal Punishment

In the past, Eton was notorious for its use of corporal punishment, commonly known as "beating." Fridays were "flogging days" in the 16th century, using a particular wooden birching block, with boys kneeling over it. Thankfully, this practice ended in the 1980s.

The Eton Experience

Life at Eton combines academic rigour and extracurricular activities, with students diving into both enthusiastically – a source of pride for the school and its alumni.

Eton in the Modern Era

Eton has embraced a more progressive approach in recent years while maintaining its time-honoured traditions. The school now offers a diverse curriculum that includes modern technology, arts, and sciences, preparing students for the challenges of the 21st century. Eton's commitment to inclusivity and diversity is reflected in its expanding scholarship programs and outreach initiatives aimed at students from various backgrounds.

Notable Alumni and Their Impact

Eton's alum network is a testimony to its enduring influence. Beyond the numerous Prime Ministers and members of the Royal Family, Eton has produced leaders in business, arts, sports, and academia. Renowned figures such as George Orwell, Ian Fleming, and David Cameron walked its halls, contributing to Eton's legacy of excellence.

Extracurricular Excellence

Eton's extracurricular activities are as prestigious as its academic offerings. The school boasts state-of-the-art sports facilities, including playing fields, a rowing lake, and a boathouse. The dramatic arts are also a significant focus, with students often participating in high-quality productions that rival professional theatre.

A Community of Lifelong Learners

Eton fosters a lifelong love of learning, encouraging students to explore their passions and develop critical thinking skills. The school's extensive library, vibrant debate societies, and numerous clubs provide a stimulating environment where boys can grow intellectually and socially.

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About the Creator

Tabby London

The London I've been discovering is usually off the well-beaten track.I love the nooks and crannies and walking along the streets steeped in centuries worth of history. I'm fond of Zone 1 because that's where it all began centuries ago.

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    Tabby LondonWritten by Tabby London

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