The Dining Hall
The Hall, which was opened in 1878, is the longest in Oxford. It can seat 300 diners. The College founders aimed to create an institution where an Oxford education could be made available for 'gentlemen wishing to live economically'. One stipulation was that all meals would be taken in common in the dining-hall, eliminating the private entertaining in undergraduates' rooms that was a chief feature of social life in other colleges.
In time, most other colleges followed Keble's lead, but whereas many have since reduced the frequency of formal Hall for dinners (all members wearing gowns and the Fellows dining at High Table), Keble still has formal Hall every night of the week except Saturdays.
There is an ongoing project to clean the walls and ceilings of the Hall, which have have been blackened by 120 years of continuous use - and in particular by the use of gas-lighting in the early years. During 2003 and 2004 a team of conservators worked to clean and restore every inch of the ceiling. The eventual cost of the restoration project is expected to exceed a total of three quarters of a million pounds.
Over the Christmas vacation in 2008, work began on the first phase of replacing the tiled floor of the Dining Hall. Specially made tiles had to be sourced for this project to blend in with the existing tiles. A lot was learned about the construction of the buildings as the supporting architecture was exposed and repaired for the first time in 130 years.