Clarendon Building


The Clarendon Building is an early 18th-century neoclassical building of the University of Oxford. It is in Broad Street, Oxford, England, next to the Bodleian Library and the Sheldonian Theatre and near the centre of the city. It was built between 1711 and 1715 and is now a Grade I listed building.[1]

Clarendon Building
Clarendon Building, Oxford, England - May 2010.jpg
South elevation of Clarendon Building
Clarendon Building is located in Oxford city centre
Clarendon Building
Location within Oxford city centre
General information
TypeOffice building, former printworks
Architectural styleNeoclassical
LocationBroad Street, Oxford
Coordinates51°45′17″N 1°15′17″W / 51.7546°N 1.2546°W / 51.7546; -1.2546Coordinates: 51°45′17″N 1°15′17″W / 51.7546°N 1.2546°W / 51.7546; -1.2546
Construction started1711
OwnerUniversity of Oxford
Design and construction
ArchitectNicholas Hawksmoor
DesignationsListed Grade I


Until the early 18th century the printing presses of the Oxford University Press (OUP) were in the basement of the Sheldonian Theatre. This meant that the compositors could not work when the Theatre was in use for ceremonies. The University therefore commissioned a new building to house the OUP.

Nicholas Hawksmoor produced a neoclassical design, construction started in 1711 and it was completed in 1715. The builder and sculptor was William Townesend of Oxford.[2]

The building was funded largely from the proceeds of the commercially successful History of the Great Rebellion by the 1st Earl of Clarendon, whose legacy later paid for the building of the Clarendon Laboratory in Oxford as well.

In the 1820s, the OUP moved to new premises in Walton Street, after which the University used the Clarendon Building for administrative purposes. In 1975, the building was transferred to the Bodleian Library, for which it now provides office and meeting space for senior members of staff.[3]

Student occupationEdit

On 22 January 2009 student demonstrators occupied part of the Clarendon Building for seven hours,[4] following similar protests at other UK universities.[5] The demonstrators called for the University to condemn Israel's role in the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict and to cancel a lecture series at Balliol College inaugurated by Shimon Peres.[4] The protestors ended their protest after an agreement with the Senior Proctor.[6][7]


West elevation of Clarendon Building
  1. ^ Historic England. "The Old Clarendon Building (1185456)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  2. ^ Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851 by Rupert Gunnis p.399
  3. ^ Jenkins, Stephanie (1 April 2012). "Clarendon Building". Broad Street, Oxford. Archived from the original on 23 February 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2007.
  4. ^ a b "Gaza sit-in demonstration ended". BBC News Online. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
  5. ^ Lipsett, Anthea (22 January 2009). "Protests over Gaza spread to eight English universities". Retrieved 22 January 2009.
  6. ^ "Statement by the Senior Proctor concerning the occupation of the Clarendon Building". University Administration and Services. University of Oxford. 28 January 2009. Archived from the original on 25 July 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2008.
  7. ^ Hood, John (28 January 2009). "Letter from the Vice-Chancellor". Vice-Chancellor's Office. University of Oxford. Archived from the original on 5 July 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2008.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit