Elladine Fender

Elladine Fender

Modified & Updated: 29 Nov 2023

Source: Visitexeter.com

The University of Exeter’s Great Hall is an architectural masterpiece and a symbol of tradition and heritage. This iconic building, situated in the heart of the university’s Streatham Campus, has witnessed countless prestigious events, from graduation ceremonies to notable guest lectures. But there is more to the Great Hall than meets the eye. Behind its grand facade lie astonishing facts and stories that reveal the rich history and significance of this remarkable landmark. In this article, we will delve into 19 astonishing facts about the University of Exeter’s Great Hall, shedding light on its intricate design, notable features, and the memorable moments that have unfolded within its walls. Join us on this captivating journey as we uncover the hidden wonders of this extraordinary architectural gem.

Table of Contents

The Oldest Part of the University

The University of Exeter Great Hall is one of the oldest parts of the university, with a rich history dating back to the 14th century. It has been a central hub for students, faculty, and visitors alike for centuries.

An Architectural Gem

The Great Hall is a stunning example of Gothic architecture, featuring intricate details and soaring vaulted ceilings. Its grandeur and timeless design make it a truly remarkable sight to behold.

A Venue for Special Occasions

The Great Hall serves as a venue for various special occasions, including graduation ceremonies, concerts, and lectures. Its majestic ambiance adds a touch of elegance and significance to these events.

Home to Priceless Artifacts

Within the Great Hall, you can find a collection of priceless artifacts that showcase the university’s rich heritage. From ancient manuscripts to historic memorabilia, these treasures offer a glimpse into the university’s past.

Impressive Organ

The Great Hall is home to a magnificent pipe organ, adding to its grandeur and providing beautiful musical accompaniment during events held within its walls. The organ’s harmonious tones reverberate throughout the hall, creating a captivating atmosphere.

A Seat of Learning

The Great Hall has been a symbol of academic excellence and intellectual pursuits for centuries. It has witnessed countless lectures, discussions, and debates, fostering a spirit of learning and knowledge exchange among scholars.

Historic Figures Have Graced Its Stage

Over the years, the Great Hall has welcomed numerous renowned figures who have left their mark on history. From distinguished speakers to influential leaders, the stage of the Great Hall has witnessed their inspiring words and significant contributions.

Symbol of University Pride

The Great Hall is a symbol of pride for the University of Exeter and its community. It represents the institution’s rich traditions, academic achievements, and commitment to excellence in education.

The Great Hall and Harry Potter

For Harry Potter fans, the Great Hall may evoke a sense of familiarity. The iconic Hogwarts Great Hall in the Harry Potter movies was inspired by the University of Exeter Great Hall. Its enchanting atmosphere brings a touch of magic to the university.

A Venue for Celebrations

The Great Hall has served as a venue for numerous celebrations, including formal dinners, galas, and special events. Its grand setting and historical significance make it the perfect backdrop for unforgettable gatherings.

A Place of Reflection and Remembrance

The Great Hall also holds a solemn role as a place for reflection and remembrance. It has been the setting for memorial services, commemorating significant events and individuals who have made a lasting impact on the university and its community.

A Center for Graduation Ceremonies

Each year, the Great Hall hosts the university’s graduation ceremonies. Graduates and their families gather in this magnificent space to celebrate academic achievements and mark an important milestone in their lives.

An Acclaimed Filming Location

The Great Hall has attracted the attention of the film industry and has been featured in various movies and television shows. Its remarkable architecture and historic aura make it a captivating setting for cinematic storytelling.

Magical Dining Experience

On special occasions, the Great Hall transforms into a magical dining hall, where students and staff enjoy themed dinners and festive gatherings. The atmosphere is reminiscent of a scene from the Harry Potter series, creating a unique and unforgettable experience.

A Gathering Place for Cultural Events

The Great Hall is a venue for cultural events that showcase various art forms and performances. From music concerts to theatrical productions, it provides a platform for creative expression and cultural enrichment.

An Inspiring Space for Lectures

The Great Hall is a sought-after location for lectures by distinguished speakers and experts in their fields. Its grand setting and historical significance set the stage for inspiring talks that ignite intellectual curiosity and spark valuable discussions.

Swept in Tradition

Walking through the doors of the Great Hall, you can feel the weight of history and tradition. It is a place where the past and present converge, creating a sense of belonging and connecting generations of students and scholars.

Architectural Details to Marvel At

Take a closer look, and you’ll discover fascinating architectural details within the Great Hall. From intricate carvings to ornate stained glass windows, these features add to its allure and offer a glimpse into the craftsmanship of the past.

Awe-Inspiring Meeting Venue

The Great Hall serves as an awe-inspiring venue for meetings and conferences. The grandeur of the surroundings sets the tone for productive discussions and fosters an atmosphere of collaboration and innovation.

As the heart of the University of Exeter, the Great Hall holds a special place in the hearts of students, staff, and visitors. With its remarkable history, stunning architecture, and diverse range of functions, it continues to inspire and captivate all who step foot within its hallowed walls.


In conclusion, the University of Exeter Great Hall is an awe-inspiring landmark that holds a rich history and continues to be an integral part of the university community. Its stunning architecture, impressive capacity, and unique features make it a truly remarkable venue for events and ceremonies. The Great Hall stands as a symbol of the university’s heritage and commitment to excellence, providing a majestic setting for countless memorable experiences. Whether you are a student, alumni, or visitor to the University of Exeter, a visit to the Great Hall is a must to witness its grandeur firsthand.


1. Can I visit the University of Exeter Great Hall?

Yes, the Great Hall is open to the public during certain times. It’s worth checking the university’s website for any upcoming events or guided tours that include access to the Great Hall.

2. Is the University of Exeter Great Hall used for graduation ceremonies?

Yes, the Great Hall is the primary location for graduation ceremonies at the University of Exeter. It provides a memorable backdrop for students, their families, and university staff to celebrate academic achievements.

3. Can I book the University of Exeter Great Hall for events?

Absolutely! The Great Hall is available for private hire for various events such as weddings, conferences, and concerts. It offers a unique and grand setting for any special occasion.

4. Are there any historical artifacts or exhibits in the University of Exeter Great Hall?

While the Great Hall itself is an architectural masterpiece, it does not house specific historical artifacts or exhibits. However, the university as a whole boasts a rich history and may have other locations or museums that showcase its heritage.

5. How many people can the University of Exeter Great Hall accommodate?

The Great Hall can accommodate up to 1,458 seated guests, making it a spacious venue for large-scale events. Its impressive capacity ensures that there is ample space for attendees to comfortably enjoy the occasion.