William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, obtained the Charter to found Winchester College in 1382 making it one of our oldest schools and, indeed, the model for Eton College itself. As such it is the home to nine Grade I, four Grade II* and eighty Grade II Listed Buildings, some of national importance.
Within this context ‘New Hall’ is a relatively new building. Constructed as an assembly hall for the College in 1960 the Hall has been in constant use for major Collgege activities from concerts to exams.
However, the construction methods of the 1960’s were not, perhaps, as robust as the 14th Century and the Hall was beginning to show signs of significant dilapidation. It had been constructed not only as an assembly hall but also to house the panelling from the original College Chapel, abandoned during alterations many years before, which had been retrieved by the College.
In 2011 BHM were engaged to start a multi-phased restoration and extension of the building, up-dating its internal arrangements to cope with modern needs as well as repairing the damage to the fabric and especially the panelling which had become water stained and dry.
By removing the original sunken assembly area which sat in front of a raised stage and creating a large internal flat floored space BHM were able to give the College a hall with far greater capacity for a huge variety of events using a large bank of electronically controlled raked seating. The rood screen forming an entrance to the hall was moved to form an entrance lobby behind the raked seating, illustrated here, and all the panelling was restored by Tankerdale, one of the country’s leading experts.
The building was enhanced with a new construction on all three sides, providing a new foyer, refectory areas and large back stage facilities and formally opened in 2015.