Winchester College is one of the world's great schools and the oldest in continual existence in the UK. It was founded in 1382 by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor to Richard II. He established the College of St Mary the Virgin at Winchester as a feeder school for his other great educational foundation, New College, Oxford. His college was placed within his own bishopric which had been the ancient capital of England, most notably during the reign of Alfred the Great (849-901 AD). The pattern of schooling established at Winchester offered the template for collegiate institutions such as Eton College, Westminster School, and King's College, Cambridge. For over six centuries Winchester has educated its scholars among its fourteenth-century cloisters, quadrangles and walks. The College's many luminaries include the polymath Sir Thomas Browne, the poets Sir John Davies, Thomas Otway, Edward Young, William Collins, and Lionel Johnson, the novelist Anthony Trollope, and the critics William Empson and Sir Kenneth Clark.

The Society for Emblem Studies will meet in some of Winchester's finest buildings; the medieval College Hall, the seventeenth-century "School" designed in the manner of Wren, and the Arts-and-Crafts period Common Room, the College's former museum. Outside the conference schedule, delegates may enjoy the College's peaceful atmosphere and beautiful grounds situated within a short distance of Winchester Cathedral Close and the city centre.

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