The Garden Guide

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

Eton College 2

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The archway below the clock leads to the Cloisters, the north and east sides of which are the oldest parts of the school buildings (1443). The second story was added in 1758. On the south side are the Collegers' Dining Hall (1448-58, but much altered), with portraits of George II. and famous old boys, and the College Library (1730), the treasures of which include a prayer-book of Queen Mary, a fine Mazarin Bible, a First Folio of Shakespeare, and the manuscript of 'Ralph Roister Doister,' the first English comedy, written by Nicholas Udall (1505-56), headmaster of Eton in 1534-41. From the Cloisters we enter the lovely Playing Fields. Just to the left is the 'wall,' which gives name to the primitive style of football illustrated in the annual 'wall game' between the Collegers and Oppidans (November 30th). To the right, farther on, are the Fellows' Pond and the Poet's Walk (named after Gray), leading to the 'Sixth Form Bench.' On the other side of the main road opposite the Upper School is the School Hall, a memorial building in honour of Etonians who fell in the Boer War (not usually shown). It includes a museum and the School Library, which boasts the possession of the manuscript of Gray's 'Elegy.' Keate's Lane, to the south of this, leading to the Lower School Chapel, the Science Schools, etc., is named after Dr. Keate (1773-1852), the famous 'flogging' headmaster of Eton. At No. 48 High St., behind an antique shop, there are two cockpits, one with a curious floor of knucklebones.