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The Blackstone Chair

The Blackstone Chair

The April/May 2010/2011 examinations are pretty much over and as we eagerly await our precious results (by checking WebSurf numerous times a day), allow me to briefly take you back to a time before written examinations.

Currently sitting in the Hunterian Museum, the oak and black stone chair seen above used to be used in the ritual of oral examinations. This chair was made in 1775-1776, and incorporates a slab of dolerite, called the Black Stone. The ritual of students being seated on the stone while being examined, and the stone slab itself, dates back to the founding of the University in 1451.

Use of the Blackstone Chair ended in 1858 with the introduction of written examinations. Well, kinda. The chair is still used in the Cowan Medal examination in the Classics Department and at honorary graduations.

[Poll #12: What is your favourite place to study for exams?]
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© 2010 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

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