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  • Dave Bond

Oxford's Hidden Jewel

Updated: May 11

Right in the centre of Oxford is an incredible building both from the outside and inside. Situated next to the Bodleian Library is the Sheldonian Theatre, part of Oxford University. Although most tourists will have walked past it few might have gone in as it is not open every day and closed a lot on Saturdays due to events.

I managed to visit it one Sunday morning just as it opened and what a delight it was.

The building is part of Oxford University and is the main assembly room as well as holding the regular Congregation meetings. The Universities public ceremonies are also held here,

The building was designed by Christopher Wren and was his second building and was built between 1664 and 1669.

The entrance is through the gate on Broad Street but it can also be reached from the Bodleian Library quadrangle. Guarding the building are 17 busts known as the Emperor Heads.

On entering the building you go straight through to the theatre itself and you are immediately drawn to the impressive ceiling. This was painted by Robert Streater in 1668/9 in London on 32 panels which were then fitted on location.

Do make sure that you also have a good look around at all of the interesting details in the room.

After this head up the stairs into the attic of the cupola. Here there is a display about the building and the stairs leading to great views over the city.

It is well worth a visit if you are in the city and very reasonable at £4.50. To find out more why not watch my video tour which includes a 360° interactive view of the inside. Click the link below.

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