Sheldonian Theatre

Sheldonian Theatre - (1 of 1)

** Covid-19 update - access routes into and around the building may be different to those described on this page. Please contact the department directly to check current arrangements. **

The main entrance to the courtyard, and the main entrance to the building are both stepped. There is level access to the courtyard from Broad Street through a narrow doorway. There is also level access from the main Bodleian library courtyard. There is level access into the building through a side door. During events the level entrance is staffed; at other times it is locked and visitors should request assistance from staff to use it. Once inside, there is level access into the main auditorium at ground floor level only. There is no lift access to the upper levels. Due to the age of the building, stairs are old and worn in place with poor contrast. There are handrails on the left side only (ascending). There is a wheelchair accessible toilet on the ground floor. There is a fixed induction loop in the main auditorium. 

This table contains summary information about the building

On-site designated parking for Blue Badge holders No
Public designated parking for Blue Badge holders within 200m Yes
Other nearby parking Pay and display
Main entrance Stepped. Doorbell. Manual door
Alternative entrance Yes - Level
Wheelchair accessible toilets Yes - 1 on ground floor
Lift No
Hearing support systems Yes - loop in main auditorium 
Google Maps
https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d2469.836901908187!2d-1.257191184233844!3d51.754305900441!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x4876c6af6a6ec713%3A0x5dd2360fb67199a4!2sThe+Sheldonian+Theatre!5e0!3m2!1sen!2suk!4v1565600092527!5m2!1sen!2suk
University Map
//maps.ox.ac.uk/embed.html#/custom?ids=oxpoints:23233507&fullscreen
Floor plans

Follow the link to view a floor plan of the building showing level access routes: 

 

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There is no car parking at the Sheldonian Theatre. There are five nearby Blue Badge parking spaces on Broad Street, and two on Parks Road. In addition there is pay and display standard parking on Broad Street.

 Please click on the link below to view a map of Blue Badge parking in central Oxford.

 

The main entrance to the Sheldonian Theatre is off Broad Street, there is a small flight of steps (no railings or nosings) leading through an archway with wrought iron gates, theatre entrance is directly in front of you.  The main entrance has three stone steps up (no railings or nosings) into the lobby area.

There is an additional set of steps (with railing but no nosing) off Catte Street, head towards the building directly in front of you and when you reach it turn right and follow the curve of the building to find the entrance.

If you require step free access there are two options:

1. via Broad Street

There is a narrow archway leading off Broad Street located at the end of the curved wall (right when facing the gates- in the direction of the town centre) where the main entrance gates are located. This entrance may not be suitable for larger wheelchairs or mobility scooters. Keep reading for the level access entrance information!

2. via Old Bodleian

If you require level access but can’t fit through the narrow archway then it is necessary to turn left from the main gates to the end of the road, turn right and head towards the large square building (Old Bodleian) on your left hand side, pass under the archway into a courtyard and then turn right and pass under another archway.  This will lead to a plateau, to your left is a semicircular building, this is the theatre.

The accessible entrance is on the far corner of the building. For those not familiar with the building it's probably easiest to head to the main entrance and work your way around!  So from the main entrance follow the curve of the building on the right hand side, you will see a subtly raised area of yorkstone paving and a doorbell on a freestanding sign near the corner of the building.  Press the doorbell, this will alert the reception that you are waiting and someone will come and open the doors in front of you. **Update November 2019. The bell is currently not working. If you require level access please request this at the main entrance, or contact the theatre in advance.** 

For ceremonial occasions (such as Encaenia), the very large doors at the rear of the building are used by the University dignitaries to enter the theatre in procession. There is a step up into the theatre here – the theatre has a portable ramp which can be deployed as needed. It is advisable to contact the theatre in advance if you will be part of the procession and will require the ramp. 

 

Please click on the thumbnails below to enlarge:

There is a small reception desk where you can buy tickets and chat to a member of staff, and pick up information.

 

 Please click on the thumbnail below to enlarge:

Accessible toilets

There is an accessible toilet located off the corridor on the ground floor, as you enter from the accessible entrance pass along the corridor past the entrance to the theatre space (right hand side) and shortly after on the left is the accessible toilet. There is a small narrowing in the corridor that some larger wheelchair users might struggle with.

Standard toilets

The standard toilet blocks located within basement area of the Sheldonian theatre.

There are staircases leading down from the corridor that encircles the auditorium on the ground floor.

See floor plans for detailed locations.

 

Please click on the thumbnails below to enlarge:

There are quite a few staircases in the Sheldonian but all have old wooden stairs.  Some have a tactile strip but most are just plain wood and the contrast is pretty poor too.

There are bannisters throughout, although again these are original and on the left hand side as you ascend, they are quite chunky and might be hard to grab for those that need them.

 

Please click on the thumbnails below to enlarge:

There are of course many different types of door in this building. Most are held open to allow free flow around the corridors.  They are wooden panel doors; some have vision panels others do not.

 

Please click on the thumbnails below to enlarge:

The Sheldonian Theatre’s main auditorium is open to the public – please see the venue’s website for details of the opening times. The venue is used for ceremonial University events, concerts, talks and lectures. It is also available to hire for private events. 

There is level access to the ground floor area of the auditorium only. All other areas can only be reached by stairs. While there is no fixed seating at ground floor level, chairs are usually placed at the ground floor while events are taking place. 

The seating is fixed tiered benches. At the lower levels the seating is covered, at the upper levels the benches are wooden. 

During University ceremonial events, the very large doors at the back of the building are opened. There are two steps here and a temporary ramp is available for use. Staff will be able to help with this. 

There is good induction loop coverage in the auditorium. Staff will be able to advise where to sit for the best sound. Please note that at some concerts and events, sound engineers will use their own equipment which may not be connected to the in-house induction loop. Please contact the venue for further advice. 
 

Please click on the thumbnails below to enlarge:

The Cecil Jackson room is available to hire for talks, meetings and small receptions. The room is in the basement with stepped access only; there are a few semi-circular steps down from the stairwell to the main room. The stairs have no handrail; there is high contrast edging. The doors have vision panels and can be held open during events. 

Please click on the thumbnail below to enlarge:

There is good induction loop coverage in the auditorium. Staff will be able to advise where to sit for the best sound. Please note that at some concerts and events, sound engineers will use their own equipment which may not be connected to the in-house induction loop. Please contact the venue for further advice.

Image gallery

Contact details


Sheldonian Theatre
Broad Street
Oxford
OX1 3AZ

https://www.sheldonian.ox.ac.uk

 

Access enquiries


Visitor Team
enquiries@sheldon.ox.ac.uk
01865 277 299

 

Contact the Access Guide


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