Sheldonian Theatre

Ranked #1 on the list Best Oxford Theatres of All Time

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About Sheldonian Theatre

The Sheldonian Theatre, located in Oxford, England, was built from 1664 to 1668 after a design by Christopher Wren for the University of Oxford. The building is named after Gilbert Sheldon, chancellor of the university at the time and the project's main financial backer. It is used for music concerts, lectures and university ceremonies, but not for drama. What came to be known as the Sheldonian Theatre was Wren's second work, and was commissioned by Gilbert Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury. With the triumph of the Restoration and with it the Church of England, Dean Fell sought to revive a project proposed in the 1630s by the late William Laud Archbishop of Canterbury: a separate building whose sole use would be graduation and degree ceremonies. In the past these increasingly rowdy occasions had taken place in the university's church of St. Mary-the-Virgin-on-High. "The notion that 'sacrifice is made equally to God and Apollo', in the same place where homage was due to God and God alone, was as repugnant to Fell and his colleagues as it had been to Laud"; with this in mind they approached the current Archbishop of Canterbury Gilbert Sheldon, for his blessing, his assistance, and a

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