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  Themes Homepage > Montem Mound and the Eton Montem ceremony
 
Special Days
Montem Mound and the Eton Montem ceremony

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Montem Mound is an ancient monument, well known not due to its age or origin, but a bizarre Eton College ceremony dating back hundreds of years.

 
Montem Mound, Bath Road, February 1974
Montem Mound, Bath Road, February 1974

The Eton Montem was originally an initiation ritual. Its first known record is of 1561, though the ceremony almost certainly predates this. The ceremony evolved into a fake 'military' march by the boys of the College, who collected 'salt' (money) from visitors and passers-by.

 

The Royal Family attended the ceremony regularly and enthusiastically, making generous donations. 'Montems' generally raised several hundreds of pounds, later even around £1000, once costs (including food and repairs of damage caused by revellers) were deducted. The remainder of the money went to the Senior Colleger to cover his expenses of studying at Cambridge.

 

In its later years the Eton Montem was held only once every three years. The final march took place in 1844, after which it was discontinued, as the last two ceremonies had attracted unwelcome and rowdy crowds brought by train from London.

Eton Montem Tickets, 1841-1844
Eton Montem Tickets, 1841-1844
 
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