Seal and Charter bathed in sunlight
William of Wykeham’s Seal & the College Charter bathed in Sunlight

William of Wykeham, once one of the richest men in England, was a great public administrator in the 14th century. Career highlights included Bishop ofΒ  Winchester and Chancellor of England. He also founded Oxford’s New College in 1379, and the public school, Winchester College in 1382. The seal and charter being bathed by the sunlight are the originals from Winchester College’s foundation. They are kept to this day in the original rooms built for their storage in 1390s.

107 thoughts

  1. I’m very surprised that documents that old would be allowed to be under sunlight even with protective coverings. Usually, documents that are much newer are kept in semi-darkness. It’s a beautiful picture — but sunlight on ancient documents leaves me puzzled.

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    1. It was only for the day, usually they are kept in a very secure and dark chest. Apparently the occasional light as well as occasional handling doesn’t do a huge amount of damage . . and I think the sunlight would have only been directly on them for an hour or so

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  2. The 600 years of history sit lightly on this seal. From your close up, it looks more recent than that but then I suppose a seal by its very nature preserves a moment.

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    1. I just found it amazing for exactly that reason . . .guess it demonstrates how well they built the room in which they keep it.

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  3. Sealed Light? Whatever next! A lovely moody shot with those deep shadows and patchy sunlight. I hope you have a few more like this for my challenge later in the year πŸ™‚

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    1. Hee hee, thought your eyebrows might go up but I had to find a way to include it! and ooh I will have a look, or find an excuse to return to the secure room πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ we were very fortunate our visit took place when it did as imagine the other tours had very different light

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