The Quadrangle

The North Vestibule, East range (Lobby Q)

The North Vestibule is part of the East range of the Quadrangle.

Images are courtesy of the University Secretariat unless otherwise indicated.

The front of the North Vestibule

North Vestibule

North Vestibule and Tower

The entrance to the North Vestibule to the right
of the Clock Tower - enlargement.

The North Vestibule entrance from University Place -

Decorative features outside include:

  • bosses on horizontal string line courses.
  • a carving of an eagle under the gable roof - see below.
  • coats of arms of John Woolley and his wife on either side of his initials above the doorway - view image.
  • copper bell-pulls on either side of the entrance - the one on the left is the original (see below) while the replica on the right was added later.
  • a finial on the gable roof holding an heraldic flag - view image.
  • gargoyles - unusual, fantastic, mythical or eerie carved creatures - see below.
Eagle Bell-pull A gargoyle

Carving of an eagle
below the gable roof -

The copper bell-pull on
the left of the entrance -

A gargoyle above
the stained glass window -


Inside the North Vestibule

The staircase in the North Vestibule The four busts on the walls of the North Vestibule

The staircase in the North Vestibule -

The four busts on the walls
of the North Vestibule -

Rhodes noticeboard

One of two noticeboards listing
University of Sydney Rhodes Scolars -

Decorative features inside include:

  • on the walls, plaster casts of busts of Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, Sir Maurice O'Connell and Sir George Gipps - view images and information.
  • an elaborately carved cedar staircase which evolved into a more elaborate design than was originally intended - see above.
  • a large stained glass window showing the University's coat of arms, the coats of arms of contemporary British universities, foundation Fellows of Senate and University benefactors - view images.

History of the North Vestibule

The north end of the East range comprised a compartment between the Great Hall and the centre Tower, with the North Vestibule in the centre. The elaborately carved staircase was constructed about 1860, some two years after the compartment was completed.

On one side of the Vestibule - next to the Tower - was the residence for Rev John Woolley as Principal of the University (now the Information Office, the Chancellor's Committee bookshop and the Faculty of Arts Research Centre). The former residence became known as the Greek Room. The rooms were successively occupied by Professorial staff until 1884 when the Greek Room became the Registrar’s office until 1926.

On the other (Great Hall) side of the Vestibule were the Professorial Retiring Rooms (now the Ladies' toilets) and the Classical Lecture Room (now the Ante Room). A doorway giving access from the Classical Lecture Room to the Hall was created in 1858.

The following photos are by Professor John Smith, University Archives:

The Woolley residence Greek Room fireplace

One of Professor Woolley's five daughters
in Woolley's residence - enlargement

The fireplace in the residence -

On the first floor landing was the entry to the Library Room (now the Senate Room) which the Library had been allocated in 1857. The Library function for the room remained until 1908 - Fisher Library (now MacLaurin Hall) was built between 1902 and 1909, at the south-west corner of the Quadrangle Building, to house the Library.

View images of the original Library Room.

The refitted former Library Room became the Senate Room in 1911, which it still is today.

View images of the early Senate Room.