We are open Tuesdays to Fridays 10am-5pm and Saturdays 10am-4pm. Public tours Wednesdays 1pm-4pm.
Contact us:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

Venue hire

The Devon and Exeter Institution - unique venue hire in the heart of the city

The Devon and Exeter Institution is a unique and inspiring venue; whether you are looking for a great meeting space or a special back drop to lift your evening event, our wonderful building cannot fail to impress.

The delightful galleried Georgian libraries are available to hire for evening events and our characterful meeting rooms to the front of the building have views overlooking the Cathedral.

We provide the modern facilities and the services you would expect, but within a beautiful and historic setting that will really set your events apart from the crowd.

The Institution has been in the heart of Exeter for more than 200 years, it’s historic library and collections form the heart of the Institution.  To make the most of your time with us we have developed some unique optional extras which enable you to maximise the impact of hosting your event in such a special location.

A guided tour break for meetings – a member of our staff or volunteer team will show you around our wonderful building, giving you a little history of the building and the Institution along the way.

Collection displays – we offer delightful curated displays from our diverse collections to complement any event.

Talks – we can expand your event programme with a talk on the Institution, our historic collection or on a number of other subjects.

Evening hire events

Evening hire of our galleried Georgian libraries is available between 5.00 – 10.00pm and suitable as a wonderful back drop for networking business events, lectures and presentations.  Located right in the heart of the city, our impressive building and evocative atmosphere, make events held here unique and memorable.

Events can be self catered with kitchen, crockery and cutlery, and glass hire all available or can be catered, please see the refreshments section below.


“I would like it recorded that the launch party the DEI staff organised and held for the Exeter Literary Festival 2019 was magnificent.  The invitations, planning, welcome, ambience, timing and food all contributed to a very successful evening and gave a good start for the second ExeLitFest.  A huge thanks to all those involved.”

Maggie Bonfield, Director Exeter Literary Festival on behalf of the Steering Group

“Inspiring location, friendly welcome and excellent service, coupled with the fascinating historical tour of the building, made our away day a huge success and enjoyable experience.”

Thomas McWilliams, Refinitiv

“We all had a wonderful evening at the DEI. Thank you for your excellent hospitality on Wednesday. The feedback from clients has been extremely positive, particularly on the venue.”

Denis Oppong, Chartered FCSI, Redmayne Bentley LLP


Room Details Cost
Reading Room Elegant Georgian room, overlooking the Cathedral.

Space for 12 boardroom, 20 café style.

£65 half day

£100 full day

Stirling Room Working studio space, overlooking the Cathedral.

Space for 8 boardroom.

£45 half day

£75 full day

Outer Library Galleried Georgian Library, space for 45 lecture style or 55 standing.  Evening only. £145
Outer and Inner Library When refreshments are being served.  Evening only. £160


Projector and screen £15 Wine glass hire £25
Flip chart and pens FOC Crockery/cutlery hire £25
Coffee/tea per person per serving £2 Kitchen hire £30
Talks and collection displays POA Guided tours per person £4


If you would like a buffet lunch with your meeting or canapes with your networking event we use and recommend Tea on the Green for outside catering requirements.  They combine delicious food and excellent service and are familiar with our building.  For enquiries please contact Oliver at [email protected] or 01392 276913.

If you wish to arrange your own catering, we also offer kitchen hire, crockery, cutlery and wine glass hire.


Due to the age and nature of our building the Institution is not fully accessible throughout.  The ground floor Libraries and toilets are fully wheelchair accessible, but the meeting rooms are all accessed via stairs or steps.

The Devon and Exeter Institution are committed to improving access within the building and thanks to our recent successful NHLF bid “The Next Chapter”, we are hoping to be able to install a lift which will enable access to the first floor rooms.  We are currently in the development stage of this project, which will take several years to reach fruition, but we look forward to providing greatly improved access in the future.

Making a booking

Please complete our booking form below.  If you have any queries, or would like a paper copy of the form, please contact Ceri McWilliams on 01392 274727 or contact us via email.

*In order to protect the unique and vulnerable nature of our building and collection we reserve the right to refuse bookings that do not meet with our charitable objects or that we do not deem suitable.


Venue hire

Venue Hire form and conditions for booking venue hire.
  • Please give details for your desired start and end times for your booking
  • Please select the appropriate room you would like to hire
  • Please select your preferred seating style
  • We are delighted to add value to your events by including these unique extras
  • For additional requirements
  • If you require event catering for your event, we highly recommend Tea on the Green. They provide everything from tasty sandwiches, delicious lunch or evening buffets, to nibbles and drinks. However if you wish to provide your own catering, chose any of the below options to suit your requirements.
  • Please include any additional information relating to your booking.
  • The Devon and Exeter Institution was founded in 1813. The library is of national importance as an intact collection in its original setting and to ensure that its unique and vulnerable nature is protected, we ask that the following hire conditions are adhered to. • All hirers must complete a booking form and agree to the conditions of hire. • We reserve the right to refuse any booking that we deem unsuitable, in order to protect the delicate nature of our building and collection, or that does not align with our charitable objects. • No furniture or any other item in the building or collection should be moved or handled without prior arrangement. • Hiring hours for meetings are within our working hours 9.30 - 5.00pm weekdays. Evening hire events are available between 5.00 - 10.00pm, timings should be specified on the booking form. • We provide tea and coffee for meetings where booked in advance. All catering requirements must be agreed in advance. We highly recommend Tea on the Green, who we use and recommend for catering services and are located a few doors up on Cathedral Green. • No food and drink, other than the arrangements agreed on the booking form, are allowed in the Inner and Outer Libraries. • Owing to the restrictions on recycling collection at the DEI, all empty bottles used at the event must be removed from the building by the hirer. • Invoices will be sent out on receipt of the booking form and payment should be in advance of the booking date.