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Wills Memorial Building

The Wills Memorial Building is situated at the top of Park Street in Queens Road. It was one of the last magnificent Gothic buildings constructed in England and was designed in 1912 by Sir George Oatley.

Building began in 1914, work was delayed during World War I and the building was eventually completed and opened in 1925 by George V and Queen Mary. It was commissioned and funded by Sir George A Wills and Mr. Henry Herbert Wills, the tobacco magnates, in honour of their father, Henry Overton Wills, benefactor and first Chancellor of the University. The Wills family donated millions of pounds to the University over many years.

The building is known locally as ‘The University’ and the most prominent feature is the very grand Wills Tower which stands at 215 feet. The Tower, is constructed from Bath and Clipsham stone and is twice as high as Cabot Tower affording amazing views of the City of Bristol. It can be seen for miles around and dominates the city. An Octagonal Lantern, containing England’s fourth largest bell, Great George, crowns the top of the Tower. The staircase and entrance to the great doors is very impressive indeed and leads through the Entrance Hall into the Great Hall. In addition to this absolutely splendid Great Hall there is a General Library, Reception Room and Council Chamber as well as more than 50 other magnificent rooms. All have beautiful feature windows and carved wood paneling.

There are eight Seminar Rooms, tiered Lecture Theatres of differing sizes, Meeting Rooms and Exhibition space. The Great Hall can seat up to 800 people for lectures and 270 for banqueting. The Reception Room can hold 200 for lectures and 250 for a buffet reception. Meeting Rooms are open all year round.

 

 

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