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Exeter’s College Life: A Great Fun

Exeter College one of the fourth oldest constituent college in the University of Oxford was founded by Devon-born Walter De Stapledon (Bishop of Exeter and Treasure to Edward II) in 1314 to provide an educated clergy for his diocese. Known as “Stapledon Hall” during its first centuries, the college was a place for education of potential parish clergy and relatively poor foundation originally consisting only thirteen fellows including a Rector and a Chaplain. Probably from the late 15th century, the college grew significantly and began to offer rooms to a few students.


In the 16th century, College’s fortunes were transformed with the help of donation given by the Sir William Petre a former undergraduate who devote some time to reorganize the place. In 1405, the name was changed to Exeter College and it became one of the leading colleges in the University. More buildings such as Chapel, St. Stephen’s Hall, library and Palmar’s tower had been added in the college and gain the high reputation as a school for academics. The college became fashionable place for politicians, lawyers and clergy in the early 17th century.


In the 18th century, college went through a decline like other colleges of university but this period of stagnation got end with the help of university reforms and number of undergraduates rises drastically. The college once again flourished and the building extended significantly with Sir George Gilbert Scott (architect behind Martyrs’ memorial). The Exeter College elected first woman Marilyn Butler as its rector in 1993.


William Morris (artist), Patrick Mercer (politician), James Aitken (clergy), Richard Burton (actor), Charles Lyell (father of modern geology), J.R.R Tolkien (author), Roger Bannister (athlete), Julius Stone (legal theorist), Alan Bennett (author and actor) and Qian Zhongshu (Chinese literary scholar) are the famous alumni of Exeter College Oxford.


Today’s Exeter College located in the heart of Oxford close to the main libraries, lecture theatres and world famous Bodleian Library has celebrate its 700th anniversary in 2014. To provide high class study space, top-notch accommodation, performance space and teaching room, the college is creating new quadrangle on Walton Street, Cohen Quad. The most alluring and well known nooks of the college are peaceful fellow’s garden, beautiful Chapel, wide sports ground, boathouse and terrace overlooking Radcliffe Square.

Oxford, Exeter College Chapel 2

College life is the great fun at Exeter because various special events are organized for students such as thanksgiving, burns night (dinner in honor of the Scottish poet Robert Burns) and etc. Wonderful and caring environment is created in the college where people look out for each other.



At first year all undergraduate students live on the college’s main site Turl Street rooms directly opposite, the little-known ‘Staircase 15’ and in their final year many of them move back into the college. Finalists (with their knowledge of the best views) can choose which room they occupy in order of where they come on the ballot. Other second and third-year students live in the privately rented accommodation.


Three meals a day are provided in dining hall of the college and snacks are available in well known bar whereas annexes also have the facility of self-catering.

Library and Computing Facilities

Students have access to first-rate library that has generous opening hours for reading and borrowing.  Consisting 40,000 in its historic collections and 40,000 books on open shelves, library also have computing facility for searching electronic resources all are connected to the internet.  Network connections and wireless internet access facility is available in student’s room, lecture theater and library.


Sports and Music Facilities

The college grants choral scholarships each year and has a rich musical life, most popular and excellent ‘mixed chapel’. In addition to it, everything is supported by musical society such as classical, fork, jazz or etc.

College has the strong team of hockey, football and rugby that placed first division in inter-college leagues. The best team of Men’s Football won Cuppers for the first time in 2014.

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Story Behind Bodleian Library’s Construction


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