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News > School News > St Swithun's Lockdown Puzzle Challenge!

St Swithun's Lockdown Puzzle Challenge!

13 Jan 2021
School News
Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash
Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash

Dear all,

Back during the first lockdown, The Cooper Gallery in Barnsley introduced a daily internet puzzle challenge using artwork from its collection. People from around the world have competed to solve these puzzles in the quickest time and it’s been a great way for people to learn about history. You can read more about it here:

I would love to recreate this at St. Swithun’s so I am introducing the ‘St. Swithun’s Lockdown Puzzle Challenge’ and I encourage everyone to get involved; students, old girls, teachers, support staff etc. Each Monday I will send out an email with a link to a puzzle that once pieced together will show an item or picture from the school’s own archive where we have records dating right back to 1712.

With the link I will give you some information about the item or photo itself and I promise to make it interesting or at least provide you with a fact you didn’t know about the school.

The challenge itself is to complete the puzzle in the quickest time possible and send your timings to where a winner will be announced each week. At the moment there is no prize just the glory of being the #1 puzzle solver for that week, but, I do plan to collate the timings and announce an overall winner for the whole puzzle challenge when the lockdown is lifted. The first puzzle should be relatively easy but they’ll get harder as the weeks go on!

We’ll use this first week as a trial run in case there are any problems with the link or the puzzle itself, but do still send in your timings and let me know if you have any suggestions for the challenge.

If you don’t want to take part in the challenge, please feel free to just do this for fun. Puzzles help to enhance your mood and decrease stress levels so I encourage you to give it a go if you feel the need to unwind. Hopefully you’ll get to learn something new about the school as you puzzle together these literal pieces of history.

PUZZLE ONE – Winchester High School 1886.

For the first St. Swithun’s puzzle you will be piecing together a picture of the original school building in 1886, which was located on Southgate Street in Winchester City centre. Back then we were known as Winchester High School and it opened on 5th May 1884 with a total number of 17 pupils. Two years later the school’s admission numbers rose to 63 pupils so the school moved to new premises on St. Peter’s Street, also in the city centre. At the time it cost 7 ½ Guineas a term to attend the school. That roughly equates to £486.00 in today’s money.

You can access the puzzle here:  

Hope you all enjoy the first puzzle and don’t forget to send your timings in if you want to take part in the challenge.

Best wishes

Elly Crookes


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T: 01962 835734 or 01962 835782

Old Girls' Association
St Swithun's School
Alresford Road
SO21 1HA


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