Knowledge, ceremony and celebration
The Sheldonian Theatre is the official ceremonial hall of the University of Oxford: the place where students are admitted to the University, where they receive their degree, and the venue for Congregation – the University’s parliament. It is also the venue for other ceremonial events including Encaenia.
Constructed between 1664 and 1669 and funded by Gilbert Sheldon, Warden of All Souls College and later Archbishop of Canterbury, the Sheldonian Theatre is the first major design of Sir Christopher Wren. The original roof, hailed as a masterpiece of architectural design, was made up of a series of timber trusses and complicated cross beams supported by braces and screws without any columns.