Sheldonian Theatre

Sheldonian Theatre information

Oxford , England
Broad St
+44 1865 277299
More information
adult/child £3.50/2.50, tours £8/6
Opening hours
10am-4pm daily Mar-Nov, to 3pm Mon-Sat Dec-Feb
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Begun in 1663, this monumental building was the first major work of Christopher Wren, then a professor of astronomy. Inspired by the classical Theatre of Marcellus in Rome, it has a rectangular front end, a semicircular back and railings decorated with classical busts. The ceiling in the main hall is blanketed by a fine 17th-century painting of the triumph of truth over ignorance; the ceiling’s remarkable length was made possible by ingenious braces made of shorter timbers.

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. From June to September, one-hour guided tours run on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday.