The Quadrangle

The Great Hall

Designed by Edmund Blacket, the Great Hall was built between 1854 and 1862, and officially opened on 18 July 1859.

On this webpage:


Also view a gallery of images of events held in the Great Hall.

Photos are courtesy of the University Secretariat unless otherwise indicated.

The Great Hall

The Great Hall - enlargement
photo, copyright David White.

The Great Hall

The Science Road side of the Hall -
enlargement.



History


Decorative features on the outside of the Great Hall

These include the following:

  • bosses on string courses on the front and both side walls.
  • coats of arms on the front and both side walls - see one below and view more images.
  • dripstones on all three sides - mouldings over doorways, windows, archways, niches, etc, for ornament or to throw off the rain, and commonly terminating with a head, an animal, or other sculptured ornament - see one below and view more images.
  • finials - two stone finials at each gable end of the roof - view images.
  • gargoyles - unusual, fantastic, mythical or eerie carved creatures - see one below.
  • pinnacles - stone pinnacles atop stepped buttresses on all sides of the building - view images.
  • sculptures - by Tom Bass of a male and a female figure on the front of the Hall - view images.
Coat of arms of J B Darvall Carved face of Queen Victoria A gargoyle

Coat of arms of J B Darvall -
enlargement.

 

Carving of Queen Victoria's face at the
termination of a dripstone on the
Great Hall - enlargement 

A gargoyle at the rear
of the Great Hall - enlargement 



Decorative features on the inside of the Great Hall

These include the following:

  • bosses - on a string course around the Great Hall.
  • busts - of Arthur Renwick, Peter Nicol Russell, William Montagu Manning and Edward Deas Thomson - view images and information.
  • carved angels decorating the hammer beam roof - view images and information.
  • coats of arms on the stained glass windows and around the oriel window
  • corbels supporting the roof - see one below and view images.
  • fireplace - the Tudor fireplace in the south wall is for decoration only.
  • floor of veined white and light grey marble (laid in 1874-1875)
  • hammer beam roof - find out more from the Archives online exhibition.
  • oriel balcony - above the fireplace, providing a view of the Hall from the Senate Room.
  • portraits - of former Fellows of Senate who were Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor on the walls of the Hall - view images.
  • stained glass windows - the Oxford, Cambridge and Royal windows and eleven smaller side windows - see below and view more images and information.
  • statues - of John Henry Challis and William Charles Wentworth - view images and information.
  • tapestry - the Gobelin tapestry of Joseph and his Brethren - unveiled for the inauguration of the Great Hall in 1859, initially on loan though subsequently donated by Sir Charles Nicholson - see below and Read "The Travails of a Tapestry", by Dr Ann Stephen.
A corbel Sir Walter Raleigh The Gobelin tapestry

A corbel bearing the arms of a
British university -  enlargement.

 

Image of Sir Walter Raleigh
from the Elizabethan authors
& men of affairs stained
glass window, photo,
copyright Milton Micallef -
enlargement.

 

The Gobelin tapestry of
Joseph and his Brethren -
enlargement.