Sheldonian Theatre

Elegant, sophisticated, and brimming with old-fashioned glamour, this unusual venue is an architectural gem in the heart of Oxford.

Designed by one of England’s greatest architects, Sir Christopher Wren, the Sheldonian exudes a majestic style matching its purpose as Oxford University’s ceremonial hall. Intimate yet grand, guests can marvel at golden eagles, flying cherubim, gilded thrones, and a spectacular 32 panel painted ceiling. A place of pageantry, it has played a key role in keeping Oxford’s traditions and history alive for over 350 years. Many familiar faces have graduated there including 27 British Prime Ministers, 30 international leaders, 50 Nobel Prize winners and 120 Olympic medallists!

This venue is especially flexible and suits almost any event. The venue’s main space hosts 750 making it a popular choice for large talks, lectures, musical concerts, and performances.  Equally, clever use of lighting and venue layout transforms the theatre floor into a cosy, intimate venue space for wedding receptions in connection with the Bodleian Libraries, luxurious private dining, drinks receptions, and award ceremonies. What makes the Sheldonian Theatre truly stand out is its famous rooftop cupola which provides panoramic views of the city’s skyline – the perfect location for a dusk drinks reception to entertain guests. Combined with the nearby Examination Schools, the Sheldonian Theatre also makes an impressive second venue for opening conference plenaries or evening festivities.

Browse venue spaces

Main Theatre

This beautiful semi-circle space is the heart of the Sheldonian. Make use of the theatre floor and tiers to seat over 700 or host a smaller event in a range of layouts - a truly flexible space!

Cecil Jackson Room

This room was initially designed to hold the print machines for Oxford University Press. Today it is a venue for interval drinks receptions, drama classes, small meetings, orchestra rest space and lectures (minimum catering is for 50 people).

Attic

The attic space is set in the rafters of the Sheldonian Theatre holding up to 60 guests and creates an interesting talking point for a drinks reception with canapes. The information boards about the Sheldonian's history are a great opportunity to learn more about this special building!

The Cupola

The Cupola, really is the jewel in the Sheldonians crown - the infamous green and white octagonal look out at the roof of the venue. A bijou space for 12 guests to gaze out over the city skyline, enjoy a drink and soak up the atmosphere of this special venue. Perfect for a small event or for guests to enjoy at different points throughout an event.

"The Sheldonian Theatre is a unique venue with a wonderful history; an event there is a special occasion in magnificent surroundings."

The British Neuroscience Association

See our venue in action

How to find us

Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3AZ

Train – Oxford railway station is approximately a 15 minute walk away or 10 minutes by taxi. Bikes can be hired at the train station or around the city.

Bus The nearest bus stop and airport bus stops are on the High Street just outside the Examination Schools (Queen’s Lane stop). When leaving the bus, turn right and walk along Queens Lane for around five minutes. At the end of Queens Lane, go straight ahead, up some steps and the Sheldonian is the building straight in front of you; the entrance is to the right. Information about buses in the city can be found here.

Car – There is no car parking on site so we recommend using the park and ride system. There is limited metered parking on Broad Street. Disabled parking is available. The nearest car park is Gloucester Green, a five minute walk away.

If you need help finding other University buildings in the city centre, try our searchable map.

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