Montem, a peculiar and spectacular Eton ceremony, was celebrated for centuries until it was abolished in 1844. First recorded in 1561, Montem was at one time an initiation ceremony for boys. By the 19th century it had become a grand pageant, in which Etonians processed in elaborate ceremonial and military dress from the College to Salt Hill in Slough. Huge crowds flocked to see the procession, glimpse royalty who attended, and participate by giving money in exchange for a pinch of salt and a souvenir card.
This exhibition traces the traditional event through historic artwork, archival records and rare surviving examples of ornate Montem costume.
Verey Gallery, 11 May – 15 October 2023
Exhibition free, and open to the public on Sunday afternoons or by appointment, Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm.