Winchester College has apologised for a 'cult'-like Christian club which allowed a powerful barrister to groom and abuse its pupils in the 1970s.
An independent investigation published yesterday found the evangelical society gave John Smyth QC 'unfettered' access to boys for his warped attacks.
Winchester, which charges £43,000 a year, was founded in 1382 and has educated a number of politicians.
Winchester College (pictured) has apologised for a 'cult'-like Christian club which allowed a powerful barrister to groom and abuse its pupils in the 1970s
The investigation, published on its website yesterday, says a Christian Forum which had 'unfettered access' at the school 50 years ago 'showed signs of what would today be described as radicalisation'.
Smyth subjected pupils to beatings and abuse at his home that was sometimes 'sexual in nature', often under the pretence it was for religious purposes.
Then-head teacher John Thorn was informed of the abuse in 1982 but did not report it to police.
In October 1982, Mr Thorn and two parents visited Smyth to get him to sign an undertaking to cut all ties with the school and seek psychiatric help.
Mr Thorn wrote: 'We