Designed by a master craftsman
The Theatre, like the Radcliffe Camera, stands out with its unique architectural beauty and style. Commissioned by and named after Gilbert Sheldon who was to later become the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Sheldonian was built in 1669 as a purpose-built hall for the university’s gatherings. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren who was also the Savilian Professor of Astronomy at the University of Oxford at the time.
Hosting ceremonies for 350 years
As you walk into the D-shaped theatre, the fabulously painted ceiling offers a breathtakingly beautiful view of a massive 32-panel oil painting by Robert Streator. If you’re in at the right time, the theatre is bathed in a golden glow thanks to strategically placed windows that permit natural light. Visitors are allowed to enter the octagonal cupola which has large windows with panoramic views of Oxfordshire.
The Sheldonian can seat 800 – 1000 people and also plays host to lectures, concerts, plays and other events through the year.
- Please remember that the Sheldonian Theatre is a working building for the University of Oxford. Therefore, the venue may be closed to visitors during important meetings and graduation ceremonies. Kindly check their website for more details.