Sheldonian Theatre

Sheldonian Theatre information

Oxford , England
Broad St
More information
adult/child £3.50/2.50
Opening hours
10am-4.30pm daily Jul & Aug, closed Sun Sep-Jun, closed Sat Dec & Jan
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Built in 1663, this monumental building was the first major work of Christopher Wren, at that time a professor of astronomy. Inspired by the classical Theatre of Marcellus in Rome, it has a rectangular front end and a semicircular back, while the ceiling of the main hall is blanketed by a fine 17th-century painting of the triumph of truth over ignorance. What's remarkable about the ceiling is its length, made possible by ingenious braces made of shorter timbers, for want of trees large enough.

The Sheldonian is now used for college ceremonies and public concerts, but you can climb to the cupola for good views of the surrounding buildings.