Exeter College, Oxford

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Notes in italics from Oxfordshire by Jennifer Sherwood and Nikolaus Pevsner (1974)
Yale University Press, New Haven and London.

Exeter College was founded by Bishop Stapledon of Exeter in 1314. It was originally Stapledon Hall, then became Exeter Hall in 1404 and Exeter College in 1566. Nothing remains of the C14, and only Palmer's Tower and some masonry to its E of the C15. The principal impression from Turl and Broad Streets is C19, in the quad C17 and C19.

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Palmer's Tower was built by William Palmer, Rector in 1432. It is of moderate size and has no spectacular features. Attractive vault inside with diagonal and ridge-ribs. Two bays, the ribs on angel corbels. Also bosses. ... Palmer's Tower stands at the NE corner of the Quadrangle.

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The Quadrangle is usually entered from Turl Street. The W range has towards Turl Street a long symmetrical facade of 1833-4 (by H.J. Underwood), smooth , of ashlar, Gothic, with a central gate tower. The windows are straight-headed, with depressed pointed lights. But the Gothic is only skin-deep. The range itself was built in 1672 and 1701-3, and the gateway still has its handsome vault of 1701-3 with two shallow coffered saucer-domes and big leafy pendants. ...

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The Hall (south range of the quad) with its three-light windows, its big bay-window and battlements seems Perp, but dates from 1618. ... The shallow porch is an addition of 1820. It was designed by John Nash. ...
The E range starts by the hall with Peryam's Building of 1618 and continues N with Armagh Building of 1708, but the side towards the quad is refaced and now like the W range. ...  

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The N side of the quad is Scott's Chapel (Sir George Gilbert Scott), built in 1854-60. ... The shape derives from the Sainte Chapelle in Paris; so does roughly the style. Polygonal apse and flèche, tall three-light windows with geometrical tracery, statues on the buttresses. ... 

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The interior reaps the benefit of the great height. It is vaulted with diagonal and ridge-ribs and one pair of tiercerons in each N and S cell. ... Stalls of wood with canopies by Bodley, 1884. ... Stone screen with naturalistic leaf on capitals etc. ... Arcading with Salviati mosaic round the apse. ... Stained glass in nearly all windows and nearly all by Clayton & Bell, with their characteristic colours and scale of figures. The earliest and best in the apse, 1859-61. ... 

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Through the E range one reaches the library (in right of picture), built as a detached structure in the garden in 1856 by Scott, also in the late C13 style, ... Dormers with geometrical tracery. At the back of the NE corner a polygonal stair-turret with spire, and running N from there a one-storey extension. This and indeed the E wall of the main range all but touch  the buildings of the Bodleian (the Selden End - 1634-7).  

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The Rector's Lodgings ... by Scott and date from 1857. The front is towards the Margery Quad, not strictly a quad. It has the chapel on its S side, the Broad Street range by Scott (of 1856 etc) on its N side, and the new Thomas Wood Building in its NW corner. ... Margery Quad and the Thomas Wood Building, by Brett and Pollen, completed in 1964, go curiously well with Scott, though they are patently of the 1960s. The fine, smooth ashlar helps, the sparing fenestration, an elegance of detail, and especially the six-floor tower at the chapel end, adding a vertical accent which the chapel could do with. ...

Exeter College Website 

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