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The University of Exeter Halls of Residence have just under 4,000 student residential places, including 2,190 in self-catering purpose-built flats and houses and 1,777 in catered accommodation. Every first year is guaranteed accommodation in catered halls or self-catered accommodation.

Birks Grange

Birks Grange, formerly Birks Halls, has recently completed a multi-million pound redevelopment with the residential block being completely rebuilt and the central block being redesigned and renovated. Rooms are now very similar to those found at Holland Hall - ensuite, having double beds, censored lights and all accessories such as duvets, pillows etc being brand new. The residential block is accessed by using a university card - and students can only access the corridor where their room is, much to the disproval of residents.

The building of Birks Grange has also allowed for a number of accessible rooms for people suffering from disabilities to use. These rooms come well equipped to assist those in need. However there no disabled students currently living at Birks Grange, due to the fact that to reach the main campus they must trek up Cardiac Hill. The central block has been equipped with a new porters lodge, a modern canteen and the hall bar, named 'The Boot'.

'The Boot' has been renovated and re-painted over summer 2007 and comes equipped with a projector to show live football. It also has a patio and garden for soaking up the Devon sun. The bar was the first in the university to be non-smoking. It is also commonly deemed as the cheapest bar on campus.

The canteen has been redesigned and students who will find modern tables and chairs and an open plan layout. Students staying at Birks have breakfast and dinner included but will now have to pay for lunch on weekdays. An en-suite room in Birks costs £156.03 a week in the academic year 2008/09. In 2009/10 this will go up to £171.50 per week.

All rooms in Birks Grange are now designated non-smoking rooms, as of September 2008.

Birks Grange now encompasses Moberly House (standard rooms), and together make up the largest hall in the University of Exeter. The colours for Birks Grange is Blue, whilst that of Moberly House is Green.

As of 27th October 2009, a shop opened in the reception building of Birks Grange.

The Hall Committee

2008-9

The student hall committee, which represents all the students of both halls, was headed by Nasser Al-Araimy as President and Jethro MacDonald (Young Scientist Winner 1993) as the Moberly Rep. Nasser was the first President of Birks Grange, to view Moberly as an important part of Birks, and approved the investment of money into improving the quality of living in Moberly House. A high quality ping pong table, partially funded by Moberly students, was purchased to help rejuvenate the common room. Under a new directive by Nasser (at the time General Secretary of the hall), Committee Membership Cards were sold at £10 each, which is the lowest price it has ever been in the history of any hall. It is said that the cards were sold at such a low cost to reduce the strain on the budget of families, following the rising accommodation prices and the recession. It is believed to be the only Hall Subs Card that entitles students to discounts at nightclubs in Exeter.

The committee aims to try to unite the two halls socially, as much as possible, though Moberly House will continue to have its own identity. The main motto is "Together we stand", whilst each hall has a slogan that identifies itself. The slogan for Birks Grange is currently "Best legs on Campus" - due to Cardiac Hill. It was initially going to be "We're fitter than you!" Also due to the hill, but was changed as a last minute amendment. The slogan for Moberly House is "Last one standing", which refers to the last remaining hall of the recently demolished Duryard Halls. There are no plans to demolish Moberly in the near future, although refurbishment is being considered.

The Hall Committee works on the motto of "Exelsior", which means 'Ever Upward'. They are ever working to make Birks and Moberly a better environment, but for the best value, despite tight finances. Many students have expressed a high level of satisfaction with this. The Committee of Birks Grange hopes that other halls will soon follow in its footsteps.

For the past two years the hall committee has chosen to go in a different direction to all the halls and choose something more informal in place of the Summer Ball. This movement being first initiated by the Social Secretary James Lindley, under the President Jamie King, was continued by Nasser. These events have been named 'The Summer Extravaganza' ever since. This usually involves bouncy castles, bungee runs, rodeo bulls, sumo wrestling suits and BBQ, amongst much more. Nasser said, "The committee would like students to remember their times at Birks Grange and Moberly to have been fun rather than too formal, this is reflected in our decision to continue this new tradition."

The last Birks Grange Summer Ball was high budget, consisting of the above with the addition of a live performance, chocolate fondue, unlimited candyfloss, unlimited pictures in fancy dress in a photobooth and the Boot opening until 2am. 300 tickets were issued. It was a celebration of the last Summer Ball that could be done on the surrounding works due to the planned building works.

Nasser ended his term, having increased the funds of the committee by more than 400%, making thousands, despite spending considerably more than the President beforehand. When asked about this, he says "It's not about money. It's about the students, but my philosophy is that if one spends wisely, he shall always receive more. For example, if I decide to give away numerous prizes at a quiz night, students will be prepared to come to another, bringing in more money for the committee. More money spent on the students means more money raised by the students, giving more money to put on high budget events for the students. After a memorable year, everyone walks away happy." The 2008/9 committee had been put in a difficult situation after (according to an ex-tutor) a committee a few years before made a £12,000 loss in a year.

His committee has been hailed by resident tutors as the first profitable committee, certainly in recent years.

2009-10

Nasser was succeeded by Harry Wingfield (Nobel Peace Prize Nominee 2008) on Monday 26th October 2009, who is noted for his calmness, quick-thinking and clear vision for the committee. Jethro has been succeeded by Damian Jeffries, known for his witty campaign posters and willingness to bring the university to account. Together with the new committee, they will lead the way ever forwards and ever upwards. The new committee have been set up in a good financial position to tackle the new challenges they face, including finding a venue for the Summer Ball, in light of the building works.

Unity between Birks and Moberly has finally been achieved, with Damian ordering the motto 'Last one standing' to be scrapped and removing the specificity of just the Colour 'Green' for Moberly. He aims to move Moberly forward, but without losing its identity. So far the poll ratings in Moberly have been in his favour.

Harry is currently working on improving relations with Holland Hall, and has proposed a joint event with both halls. The Holland Committee is currently deliberating upon this.

Cardiac Hill

The path leading from Birks Grange to the campus goes up the very steep Cardiac Hill that students have to tackle every morning to get to lectures. "A student's guide to ... Exeter University", The Times, 19 February 2008 There are rumours that the hill often ices over during cold weather, and is therefore closed off during winters, although no such occurrences have been recorded since the new Birks Grange was built.

Update - During January/February 2009 when there was unexpected heavy snowfall across the country, Cardiac Hill iced over causing people to literally slide down the hill as they tried to climb up. Despite the ice, it was not closed off.

The path to campus has been re-routed to take into account the building works, with Cardiac Hill being closed indefinitely. Although less steep, the new route adds an extra 5 minutes onto the journey to campus. The new path is known as 'Grafton Hill'.

New Halls

Currently works to build en-suite self-catered accommodation on the hills opposite Birks Grange and the green area between the central block and Birks Grange to accommodate for more than 800 students are taking place. These areas were usually used by students for sunbathing during the summer and or playing sports. Whilst some students, who's rooms look out to the building works are disturbed by the noise, there is a general satisfaction with the way in which the works are taking place. The University has taken specific steps to ensure as little disturbance to the students as possible.

The university hopes that this will enable them to increase student intake, and thus maintain the institution's 9th place ranking within the country. Applicants have recently risen by more than 20% since 2008 entry.

Holland Hall

Holland Hall is named after Sir Geoffrey Holland, the Vice-Chancellor of the University who retired in 2002. Often called, 'The Pride of the University', it is one of the newest halls, which opened in September 2004, it is the largest and most expensive of the catered halls and was built to very high standard , with en-suite rooms with double beds, showers, toilets and heated towel rails. Having previously been called "Dutch Courage", the bar in Holland is now called "The Clog". The rooms have French windows and most look out to a stunning view of Exeter. From year to year, many of the students in this hall, are thought to be amongst the wealthiest in the University, although this hall costs no more than the other catered en-suite halls. The hall is rumoured to have almost made the university bankrupt and the Chemistry and Music department being closed as a result. The University say the decision to close these departments was solely because the courses were unpopular.

The standard rooms are let to first year students for a 31-week term. There is some studio accommodation, with self-catering facilities, for returning students and postgraduates, let on a 40-week term. There are 422 study bedrooms and the dining room has space for 400 students. For the year 2007/2008 the current cost for a week in Holland Hall is £147 per week. This rose for the 2008/2009 semesters to £156 and again, for 2009/2010 to £171.50.

Over the last 3 years Holland Hall has organised some of the University's most outstanding social events, most notably Holland Hall's Summer Balls. 2008 saw an Hawaiian themed event, incorporating Mardon Hall as well; Holland will host their Hollywood Summer ball in June 2009. Rich Stearn, the president of Holland Hall 2006/7 led a successful campaign to become President of the Students' Guild for 2009/10.

Over the past two years, there have been rumours of Holland Hall 'sinking' due to unstable foundations. The university has denied this. Robert Alcock, Director of Buildings and Estates, said “There is absolutely no evidence that Holland is sliding down the hill. If it was moving downwards, part of the building would become detached. This detachment would first be shown by the presence of a large crack in the walls. However, Holland is in no danger whatsoever.”

In 2008, major works were undertaken to fill up a large hole beneath the car park. This work has been completed and no other faults with the building have been reported.

Hope and Kilmorie Halls

As of 2005, Hope and Kilmorie have a joint hall committee organising events and providing representation. The committee consists of a president, vice president, secretary, two hall reppresentatives, a treasurer and a publicity officer.

Hope Hall

Hope Hall consists of Hope Main with 86 students accommodated, Lazenby with 19, and St German's House (not to be confused with St German's 4 separate self-catering blocks, where each block houses approx 36 students) with 24. The main building holds the catering facilities for all three houses, plus Kilmorie Hall. The hall bar is called 'The Badger'. The current Hall Manager is Liz Mossman.

Hope Hall was visited by Queen Mary in 1938.

Kilmorie Hall

Kilmorie houses students studying at the University of Exeter in comfortable and character-filled buildings. It is situated on Pennsylvania Road in Exeter, in between the centre of the University campus and the town centre. It is made up of several old Victorian-style buildings converted into a student hall of residence. Kilmorie is a catered hall, sharing a dining room, canteen facilities and student bar (The Badger) with the nearby Hope Hall. The Hall is divided into six interconnected blocks named SB, A, B, C, Z and D. Each bedroom contains a bed, a wardrobe, a bedside table, shelving and a washbasin. The rooms vary widely in size with some rooms being significantly larger and others significantly smaller than the average room.

Kilmorie History

Kilmorie Hall was originally three large Victorian terraced houses. They were opened as a hall of residence in 1930 for 39 male residents. This comprised 'SB' (The Staff Block), and A-Block. In the 1940s the other main buildings were added to the hall, comprising of B, C, Z and D-Blocks.

Kilmorie was originally a self-contained residential centre, comprising its own kitchen, dining room, library and games rooms. However, in 1971 the dining facilities were closed and residents took their meals in Hope Hall.

Life in Kilmorie

The Kilmorie Committee was an elected body that represented their fellow residents in matters concerning the Hall. As of 2005 there is a joint committee with Hope, consisting of nine students. Elections are held in the fourth week of the first term, and handover is held the week after.

Life for current Kilmorons

Kilmorie houses on average 70 students each year, with half of the rooms being shared and half single bedrooms. The common room has sofas, a pool and table tennis table and a small kitchen for the residents, as well as a colour television for the students' use.

Lopes Hall

Lopes (pronounced "Lopez") Hall was opened, by United Statesmarker Ambassador Robert Bingham on 25 October 1933, for women students only. It consists of a main building and two annexes. The main building is composed of the Old House (Nunnery) and the Main Wing. Despite its rather grand appearance, Lopes Hall was in fact purpose-built as student accommodation, with the Hope buildings that have been converted and the Kilmorie accommodation that is made up of converted Victorian buildings. The two annexes of Lopes are Ransom Pickard (Randy P (RP)), built in the 1960s but completely refurbished in the summer of 2008, and Pennsylvania Court (Penny C), which was finished in 2004. There are two tennis courts and Lopes shares a bar, 'The Badger', with Kilmorie and Hope Halls.

Mardon Hall

Designed in a 'country house' style, Mardon Hall was opened in 1933 and extensively refurbished in 1996. It was the University College of the South West's first purpose-built hall of residence. This was 22 years before the University gained its charter, becoming the University of Exeter, in 1955.

Mardon Hall was financed by the College Appeal and EJ Mardon, who donated £25,000 towards the cost of building the Hall and after whom it was named. One of the original notable features of Mardon Hall was the wooden hut used as a dining hall right until shortly after Holland Hall was built, due to the University College's lack of funds at the time of Mardon's construction. The Mardons were a county family with long-standing industrial and farming interests in Devon. Several members of the family attended the university, the last of whom being Alex Mardon, who was a resident of the Hall from 1997.

In early planning against the outbreak of war, the Government indicated a wish to use Mardon Hall as a hospital. In the event, it continued in use for student accommodation until 1943, when it was taken over by the American Red Cross as a rest centre for American troops. Interestingly, a wartime German map, held by the Devon Record Office, has the adjacent Reed Hall and the University's Washington Singer Laboratories marked as military targets, but not Mardon. Perhaps the Germans too thought Mardon would be useful for billeting troops in the event of invasion. The Hall was returned to student use in 1945.

Today, Mardon Hall provides accommodation for a total of 106 students, approximately half men and half women. For its first 53 years, the Hall accommodated men only. Women arrived in 1986, apparently by default, when "too many" women applied for University accommodation, but "not enough" men. The late Dr Frank Oliver, Warden for 33 years to 1997, was persuaded to countenance the replacement of the traditional benches in the Dining Room with upholstered chairs, as a 'temporary measure'.

The Mardon Bar is known as "The Beaver", although it has been out of action since 2007.

Key events in Mardon history

  • 1933 Mardon Hall, Streatham Drive, was opened. Designed by E Vincent Harris, funded by the College Appeal and EJ Mardon, who gave £25,000 towards the cost of its building.
  • 1943 Taken over by the American Red Cross as a rest centre and Psychological Hospital for American troops.
  • 1945 Returned to student use.
  • 1966 In the Trinity Term, Mardon was closed for electrical work. Students and staff were moved to the then new Haldon House, at Birks, the hall of residence at the bottom of Cardiac Hill.
  • 1968 Cotley became an annexe of Mardon Hall.
  • 1978 The bathrooms in Mardon Hall were redesigned to create an additional nine study bedrooms, three by Autumn 1978, and the remaining six by Autumn 1979.
  • 1986 Mardon for the first time accommodated female students as well as male.
  • 1987 Cotley ceased to be an annex to Mardon Hall, being taken for the Department of Continuing Adult Education.
  • 1989 Higher Lodge was used as an annexe to Mardon Hall.
  • 1992 The south wing of Mardon Hall was converted from being part staff accommodation to all student accommodation.
  • 1993 Higher Lodge, annex to Mardon Hall, was closed at Easter, to make way for the construction of the Peter Chalk Centre. The rooms of Mardon Hall were renumbered during the summer.
  • 1996 Room 21 of Mardon Hall was refurbished at Easter and the top floor during the summer vacation.
  • 1997 The first and second floors of Mardon were refurbished during the summer vacation.
  • 1999 St Cross was closed and subsequently sold.


Self Catered

Lafrowda

Lafrowda Flats
Lafrowda is the cheapest of the Streatham campus accommodations. It consists of flats, and each flat has between three and twelve bedrooms with shared kitchens, lounge areas and bathrooms. Some blocks have been enhanced with a larger kitchen and communal area, and more showers than standard.

Llewellyn Mews

Llewellyn Mews is self catered accommodation situated just off-campus on King Edward Street. Like Birks Grange, residents use Cardiac Hill to get to lectures.

It has attached, an annex known as Little Llewellyn. Together they house roughly 40 students spread over 8 flats.Each flat has 5 single bedrooms, a kitchen, a sitting room and a bathroom as well as access to a common room known as the Llewllyn Walk In Centre.

Former Halls

Thomas Hall

Thomas Hall is a currently disused hall. It was built as Great Duryard House, in about 1690 by Sir Thomas Jeffers, but was renamed Thomas Hall in 1936.

Thomas Hall looks out over a large sloping lawn, with a stream running along the bottom. Past this stream there is a set of steps that lead to the Duryard Halls. In the summer term it is common to see students from the nearby halls sunbathing on the grounds. There are many old trees in the grounds, and large patches of daffodils come up during the spring. To the back and left sides of the house is a small wood, and to the right the are two tennis courts, only one of which is usable.

The Manor of Duryard was originally owned by the city of Exetermarker, being sold off in the 17th Century. Great Duryard House was purchased by the University just before the Second World War. Thomas Hall has not been used as a hall of residence for some years, however currently the small lodge behind it is inhabited. Presently the house is used for storage. It is not known whether it will be used to house students again.

Other recent information suggests that the hall was actually donated to the University by Sir Thomas. It is said that in his Will he asked that the building would only be used for educational purposes.

Haunted Mansion

There are rumours that say that St. Thomas' hall is haunted. A long time ago, the daughter of Sir Thomas, being about 13 at the time, fell down some stone steps leading down into the cellars and was killed. The steps to go down was subsequently bricked up and the gardener, who looked after the place whilst the hall was disused claimed to have heard some footsteps occasionally as he maintained vegetables in the Walled Garden. Other students have reported similar encounters.

Future Plans

The University of Exeter seemed unsure about what to do with the beautiful grounds of the hall, which many students continue to visit throughout the Summer. In 2008, the decision was taken to sell the house and its surrounding grounds. Plans indicate that it will be turned into a hotel, with the walled garden being turned into a car park. The wall is listed and so cannot be demolished. Building work has not yet commenced, and students still use the opportunity to walk round the beautiful gardens of what was once a family home. Plans of when building work is to begin have not yet been released.

Duryard Halls

Duryard Halls provided accommodation for around 650 students. These halls are famous for being the residence of Harry Potter author JK Rowling, the radical poet Edward Andrews - winner of youth script jam 2005 - and pop singer and winner of Pop Idol, Will Young. Will Young lived in Hetherington House. In an interview on the official Will Young website, the pop star said, "I can't remember the room number, but it was Hetherington House, I think they might have knocked it down by now and they should have done, because it was horrendous. A breeze block building." According to the Daily Mail , JK Rowling lived in Jessie Montgomery House in her first year at university.

The demolition of the halls has now begun, with only Moberly house remaining. Moberly, which is sited on the other side of Lower Argyll Road from the other houses, will be used to provide standard accommodation, and will be affiliated with the reconstructed Birks Halls (or, as it is now called, Birks Grange). The new halls due to be built on the Duryard site provide en-suite accommodation, like Holland Hall, due to high demand for this type of accommodation.

Duryard Halls were spread over four houses, all of which surround the old Duryard House and its drive:
  • Jessie Montgomery
  • Hetherington
  • Murray
  • Moberly


Each House was named after key figures in the history of the university. In the refectory the long room used to have tables in rows with an elevated stage upon which the resident tutors and senior members of the house used to sit. The walls were lined with paintings of the men and women after whom Duryard's four houses were named.

Hetherington and Murray were once used exclusively for male students while Jessie Montgomery and Moberly were reserved for female students. Students also used to occupy the two lodges and the Duryard Mews. The halls housed students studying at the University's Streatham Campus, which is roughly a fifteen minute walk away.

The halls were served by a central block, Kay House, containing refectories and the hall bar, the Welly. The Welly was also a popular drink with those celebrating birthdays, which involves a cocktail of spirits, beer, wine and alcopops drunk from an old, but sanitary Wellington boot.

Crossmead Hall

Crossmead Main Hall in 1976
Crossmead Hall Arms
Crossmead was located across the river at the top of Dunsford Hill. An all-male hall, the residents referred to themselves as 'Jentlemen' in tribute to the 'J' bus service long after this had been replaced by the 'C'.

The hall was acquired in 1944, with of grounds. Accommodation included 'Main Hall', a substantial red brick house built' in 1893 and extended in the 1920s with a modern dining block appended in the 1960s; 'The Villas', a row of Georgian villas (circa 1829) fronting onto Dunsford Hill; 'The Huts', 1940s pre-fabs, and later blocks dating from the 1960s. Main Hall included a bar known as the Whip and Chain.

The grounds included a fine avenue of red-flowered horse chestnuts running down to Dunsford Hill, glasshouses and a tennis court in an old basalt quarry. In front of the dining block was a croquet lawn and a pond, home to a succession of Muscovy ducks known as Albert.

The hall's coat of arms (see illustration) included Albert the Duck, a whip and chain, a letter J, and crossed croquet mallets.

In the 1980s the lower part of the grounds on the corner of Barley Lane and Dunsford Hill was developed as Cadogan Court, a nursing home. Crossmead was closed as a hall and used by the University as a conference centre. This closed in 2006. There was controversy in autumn 2005 when the University applied to build 36 flats and 54 houses on the site; proposals that were bitterly opposed by the local residents.

Notable residents



St Luke's Campus

  • St Luke's Hall


Cornwall Campus

Current Halls

  • Glasney Parc


Former Cornwall Halls

  • Beringer House - Beringer was a hall of Residence for University of Exeter fresher students at the Camborne School of Minesmarker in Cambornemarker, Cornwallmarker, until the school moved to the Tremough Campus, Penrynmarker in 2004 . Beringer House was a two-storey building constructed from Cornish granite and concrete. The building is named after one of the school's founding fathers, J Beringer.
  • MacWilliam - was a hall of Residence for University of Exeter graduate students at the Camborne School of Mines in Camborne, Cornwall, until the school moved to the Tremough Campus Penryn in 2004 .


Notes

  1. "Accommodation Guide", University of Exeter, 27 March 2008
  2. Expose: https://xmedia.ex.ac.uk/newspaper/pdf/2008-06-16.pdf
  3. "Around the city in the 1930's", Exeter Memories, 2 April 2008
  4. "Bingham Opens College Hall.", The New York Times, 25 October 1933
  5. "Catered Halls of Residence - Mardon Hall, University of Exeter, 27 March 2008
  6. "Fury at city homes plan", Express and Echo, 22 September 2005


References



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