The Holywell is a popular concert hall situated on Holywell Street, in Oxford, providing a convenient and central location for concerts and recitals. It is better suited for chamber music or small ensembles.
The oldest custom-built concert hall in Europe, the Holywell Music Room opened its doors to the public for the first time in 1748 and celebrated its 250th anniversary in the summer of 1998.
Designed by Thomas Camplin, Vice-Principal of St Edmund Hall, the building was probably the brainchild of William Hayes, then Professor of Music at the University. The project was funded by a public subscription (established in 1742).
The room continued as a concert venue throughout the 18th century and until 1836, from which time it was used for several other events, including auctions and exhibitions. By the 1870s, it was being used for weekly rehearsals by the Oxford Philharmonic Society and its future as a musical venue was further secured after 1910 when the Oxford University Musical Union obtained the lease on the building.
The Holywell was restored and refitted in 1959-60 and since that time has been the location for many hundreds of recitals and concert series featuring prestigious visiting musicians, as well as many local groups and student performers.
The Holywell Music Room is available for hire during the week and at weekends. Current music students or current faculty members of the university who wish to organise an event at discounted rates, please check the booking information and email firstname.lastname@example.org. For all other enquiries, please visit the Wadham College website.