Alumni celebrate Exeter’s 700th anniversary in Exeter Cathedral
On Friday 7 November 2014, over 50 alumni and Friends of the College gathered at a drinks reception at Exeter Cathedral to celebrate Exeter College’s 700th anniversary. A large party had attended Evensong in the Cathedral beforehand and had visited the tomb of Bishop Walter de Stapeldon, the College’s founder.
The event was an opportunity for Exonians in Devon and surrounding counties to meet the new Rector, Sir Rick Trainor, and his wife, Professor Marguerite Dupree. Sir Rick spoke of his delight to be visiting Exeter, ‘the birthplace of Exeter College Oxford’, just six weeks into his Rectorship.
Earlier in the day a smaller group had enjoyed a tour of Exeter Cathedral’s newly-renovated library and archives, where they were able to see the 10th century Exeter Book (one of only four surviving books of Anglo-Saxon poetry), Exon Domesday (the South West survey that preceded the Domesday Book), and documents dating to Walter de Stapeldon’s episcopacy, as well as several other treasures.
In honour of the College’s 700th anniversary, the Rector presented Canon Ann Barwood with the musical score of Flyht, incorporating words from the Exeter Book and set to music by composer Nicholas O’Neill. The piece was performed for the first time by the College’s Chapel Choir on 4 April 2014, the College’s 700th anniversary. The score will now form part of the Exeter Cathedral archives.
Exeter College is very grateful to Simon Timms (1969, Literae Humaniores), to the Dean of the Cathedral, Reverend Jonathan Draper, and to all his colleagues for making the event possible. We look forward to arranging a second Devon gathering in 2015, at which we hope to include a lecture on the early history of the College and a formal dinner.