The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 57 From London To Windsor


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On the other side of Windsor Bridge, at the end of Thames St., begins the long and not unpicturesque street forming the small town of Eton (3366 inhabitants; Bridge House, Room 5/6, Breakfast 3/, Dinner 5/6, pension 3-5 gs. weekly) and leading to (? miles) Eton College, founded by Henry VI. in 1440 and perhaps the most widely known of all English schools. The Upper and Lower Schools are shown on Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday, 2.30-5, on application at the School Office. The Chapel is open daily, 11-1 and 2.30-5 (week-day services at 9.15 & 5, in summer 9.25 & 3, Sunday services at 10.40 & 5). The College Hall & Library may be seen on week-days, 3-5, on application to Mr. Green, the Cloisters, Eton College. As a matter of fact, however, the buildings are shown at any time, on application, provided they are not in use for school purposes. The original endowment of the College of the Blessed Mary of Eton provided for a Provost, 10 'sad priests,' 4 lay clerks, 6 choristers, 25 poor scholars, and 25 poor men. These are now represented by the seventy Collegers ('Tugs'), who obtain their scholarships by open competition, wear black gowns, and live in College. The great bulk of the school, however, consists of the Oppidans, now about 1100 in number, who live at the masters' houses. The present governing body includes a Provost, ten fellows, the Headmaster, and the Master of the Lower School. There are about 65 masters in all. The boys wear tall hats, broad collars, and short jackets, the last replaced for boys above a certain height by tailcoats. They include not only the scions of many of the leading families in England but also the sons of Indian and other foreign potentates. Boating is sedulously practised at Eton, which competes at Henley for the Ladies' Plate. The rowing boys are known as 'wet bobs,' while cricketers are 'dry bobs.' The School Speech Day is celebrated on June 4th (George III.'s birthday). The chief features are a procession of boats from Fellows' Eyot and a display of fireworks opposite the Playing Fields. The ceremony known as the Montem has been discontinued since 1846. Comp. 'Eton College' by Christopher Hussey (1922).