Step through the front doors of this ancient grandiose mansion and you already get a feel for days gone by. You can’t help but wonder what history lies behind those majestic pillars. If the walls could talk, what stories they would recount?
With 7 unique meeting rooms, each yielding its own unique charm and character, it’s fair to say that Reed Hall is definitely not your average Exeter meeting venue.
A trip down memory lane
So, in true Doctor Who style, enter the tardis and travel back to 1867.
The Streatham Hall Estate lies behind ornamental carriage gates, which guard a broad avenue surrounded by undulating lawns. At the end of the drive stands a huge majestic, Italianate mansion in all its glory, Streatham Hall. Built for Richard Thornton West a millionaire merchant, this elegant house was to remain with the Thornton West family until the early 1900’s.
The house itself cost in excess of £80,000 to build, but the bill almost doubled when a further £70,000 was invested in the surrounding gardens. Still wonderfully cared for today, the gardens were designed and laid out by the local branch of leading horticulturalists, the Veitch firm. Plants originating from every continent in the world are represented in the grounds and arboretum.
Next time you’re sipping away at your pint in the nearby Imperial pub, take a look at the Orangery that lies to the rear. This was the heated palm house that was moved from its original location at Streatham Hall.
From family home to hospital
During the First World War, Streatham Hall had a brave role to play. It was to be known as Streatham Hall Temporary Hospital, one of 7 military hospitals in Exeter. Following the War, the house was once again on the market, priced at just £8,000. It remained on the market for some years until finally, in 1922, Alderman W H Reed, bought the property and gifted it to Exeter College, on the understanding that the college would acquire the new status of University. As such it was renamed Reed Hall and opened as a hall of residence for men in 1925.
And back to present day
So you see, there really is a lot more to Reed Hall than meets the eye. In terms of versatility, as a venue that can lend itself to any meeting, function or event, then history really is repeating itself.
Oozing character and charm, this beautiful house could add a whole new dimension to your next meeting in Exeter.
For further information about meetings and other events at Reed Hall talk to a team member today.