About this mod

An overhaul of the buildings and inhabitants of the College of Winterhold.

Permissions and credits
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- Reasons for this mod
- Rundown of Features
- Installation Guide
- Permissions
- Credits

Reasons for this mod
I have always played Elder Scrolls games as a mage/ spell-sword and Skyrim was no different but, likely from having been spoiled with the splendour of the Arcane University in Oblivion, I was disappointed with the messy, dilapidated interiors of the College and it's magically-clueless inhabitants (so-called 'masters' defending themselves with flames and fire-bolt an other such un-immersive annoyances). This mod attempts to bring some of that missing grandeur, magic and mystery to the College by adding a variety of new objects, activators, locations and books as well as improving the magical aptitudes of the faculty members and introducing a tutoring system through which you may learn directly from the masters as they teach; now the Mages of Winterhold really do "gladly (sic) share knowledge amongst themselves".

Rundown of Features
Generally: removal or organisation of unwanted clutter from interior and exterior locations. All cells featuring re-positioned objects have had navmeshes reworked and tested both in and out of combat. Just-in-time (JIT) lighting has been introduced to all suitable cells, improving performance and eliminating flickering associated with over-lighting individual meshes. Great care has been taken to avoid dirty edits, including automatic and manual Tes5Edit cleaning. 

Inhabitants: Each character will now scale better with the player, and many will start at a much higher level then the player. Each character now has access to a suite of spells and perks, appropriate to their level and area of expertise. Where offensive spells are concerned, characters now specialise in one particular element (E.G. fire) and make greater use of the School of Conjuration. Characters now attend morning classes in the Hall of the Elements then study in the Arcanaeum or their quarters afternoon. Faculty will sell miscellaneous enchanting supplies; a new character sells alchemical supplies. You also now have the option of allowing Tolfdir to take on the role of Arch-Mage, if you feel undeserving of your position. This can be renegotiated at any time through dialogue or through the MCM menu. All characters will assemble in the Hall of the Elements for meals either at noon after practice and/ or at 6 p.m.

Hall of Countenance: There are now magical experiments going on and research underway. Lots of new objects and modder's resources have been used to increase immersion.

Hall of Attainment: More personalised dormitories and tidier object positioning. A cooking area has been added for users of survival mods and a room previously filled with clutter has been cleared for compatibility with the Spell Crafting Mod. A new basement floor has been added, catering mostly to alchemists.

The Arcanaeum: In vanilla this was more a private collection of books than a provincial library. More bookshelves (with player-fillable bookshelves for spare skill books/ spell tomes), map areas (with a topographic map under construction) and artefacts for teaching/ research. A new floor has been added with various librarial paraphernalia. More animation markers for idle characters.

Hall of the Elements: A new floor, minor object positioning improvements and more light balls. Location of new morning classes and practice sessions for all members of the College from which you may gain experience, but only up to the level that character would be able to train you privately (this can be uncapped in the MCM menu). College members will assemble here for meals after practice sessions and/ or in the evening.

Arch-Mage's Quarters: Improved workstations, new cooking area and a desk for the Master of the College. Clutter has been cleared to make way for bookshelves, plaques, mannequins and racks for items. The random mound of dirt has been cut back and contained, with most of the plants relocated to the Lustratorium (see below). This cell now hosts a working clock, able to chime at midday, tell you the time, day of the week and month of the year at a glance. Clock ticking can be disabled in the MCM menu. A Harry Potter inspired 'pensieve' allows the Arch-Mage to scry upon the College or Skyrim's jarls, and keep track of current developments (see video). The containers are scripted for optional automated storage of different categories of items; automated retrieval of alchemy and enchanting resources for workstations throughout Skyrim is also available. Auto-containers and auto-workbenches can be toggled at any time through the MCM menu.

College Sanctuary: I always found it strange that the most powerful and sought-after items in Skyrim (such as Daedric artefacts) were simply dumped in a box in the middle of Whiterun and left unprotected. The sanctuary is my answer to this; a new room for the College atop the main tower and accessible only by teleportation. The room becomes accessible after quest-line completion and contains scripted displays for important artefacts, Daedric or otherwise. The cell features transparent windows so you can see the sun, moons and stars from inside and the lighting is scripted to mimic the movement of the sun across the sky. LOD for the Sanctuary can be toggled via the MCM menu.

The Midden: Starting point for the new Winterhold Ruins dungeon and quest, which will begin upon entering the Midden if you have completed the College quest-line and Dragon Rising from the main quest-line. The quest & dungeon can be disabled via the MCM menu at any point, but it cannot be reactivated if disabled mid-way through. Smithing facilities, remnants of Old Winterhold, can now be accessed in the Midden, so you no longer have to travel in order to smith or craft. Added an Oblivion-style black soul gem altar, which will allow you to darken empty grand soul gems after midnight, in the Shade of the Revenant.

Courtyard & Bridge: Once you become Arch-Mage, you can activate the second focal point on the bridge to repair it (or 'bewitch' it again). Navmeshes have been cut back so characters actually use the paths and dragon markers have been adjusted. Added more snowdrifts and light effects to the walls and and more wind to the bridge. The frontmost tower has been converted to an astronomy area with working telescopes (WIP) and several scripted items. This area will be visited by Urag and Arniel at night. The empty land in the courtyard is now occupied the Lustratorium...

Lustratorium and Subterrarium: Just as I had visions of the bridge collapsing, I also imagined the giant mound of earth in the AMQ crashing through the floor and and crushing the unwitting mages below. The College's botanical collections are now housed in the Lustratorium, The building has two wings: an 'alpine' wing with flora from cooler climates; and a 'tropical' wing, with those from warmer ones. These are connected by a network of underground tunnels, the Subterrarium. A new, fully voiced alchemist character has been added who will tend the collections. LOD for the Lustratorium can be toggled via the MCM menu.


This mod requires Dawnguard, Dragonborn, SkyUI and SKSE plus SKSE ini changes. The mod comes with an automated installer and scripted maintenance system, and the features & scripts in this mod are written in such a way that your progress through the college quest-line is irrelevant.

1: Always back-up your current save before [un]installing any mod!

2: If installing for the first time or updating from <V2.5, empty all College containers before installation.

3: If installing from >V2.5, empty all College mannequins before installation. 

4: If installing from V3.0.1 and above, containers and mannequins needn't be emptied, but if you are mid-way through the new quest I recommend completing it before updating.

5. Install SKSE and make appropriate ini edits (see downloads section). Install SkyUI. Install Dawnguard & Dragonborn. 

6. Install the latest version of the mod using NMM or Mod Organizer.

7. Run BOSS or LOOT!

7. Optional step for updating users: if you have installed the newest version, make a save then exit the game. All unused scripts from the old version will be orphaned, ready to be removed from your save by the Save Game Script Cleaner. Kudos to Hadoram!

This mod is compatible with, but not dependent on, the following mods* by default or by virtue of a compatibility patch:

All re-textures of the College and College items.
Interesting NPCs 
Inconsequential NPCs 
Cutting Room Floor 
College of Winterhold - NPC Improvement
Live Another Life 
Skyrim Redone 
Expanded Winterhold Destruction Ruins 
Qaxes Winterhold Rebuild 
Apachii SkyHair 
Opulent Outfits 
Cloaks of Skyrim 
Spell Crafting Mod 
College of Winterhold Shop Fixes 
Apophysis Dragon Priest Masks
Skyrim Distance Overhaul
Real Shelter Full Release 
Follower Commentary Overhaul 
Ultimate Follower Overhaul 
Forgotten Magic Redone 
Expanded Towns & Cities
JK's Skyrim
Bring Out Your Dead
Rustic Windows
Aemer's Refuge Continued
Skyrim Scroll Crafting
Expanded Towns & Cities
JK's Skyrim
Relighting Skyrim (unmerged versions)
Skyrim Project Optimization
Immersive Content - Realistic Outdoor Lights
The Midden: Expanded

*That a mod is not on this list is no reason to believe it is incompatible! These mods are listed because they could conceivably edit the College. If you are unsure then ask the comments section or, better yet, perform a test and drop a comment with your results. Remember: conflicting does not always mean incompatible - most conflicts can be resolved by tweaking load order.


The ESPs in these files must not be redistributed, either fully or in part. The BSA contains resources created by other modders on the nexus, and therefore its contents cannot be freely redistributed - correlate sub-folders with the credits to find the original resource files if you want them for your own mod. If I have forgotten to credit your work amongst the plethora of resources I've used please get in touch. A separate archive containing all of the meshes, textures and scripts that I made is available in the downloads section, for anyone interested. These can be used freely, but any credit would be appreciated. Screenshots and videos were taken with Dawnguard, Dragonborn & HD DLC, Skyrim HD2KNatural Lighting & Atmospherics ENBELnFXInteresting NPCs & Inconsequential NPCs.


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