- / The Venue
Completed in 1928, partly as a memorial to British diamond magnate and imperial statesman Cecil Rhodes, the House is headquarters of the Rhodes Trust and the Rhodes Scholarships, a residence for the Warden of Rhodes House, and a meeting place for Rhodes Scholars and distinguished guests. Today, others can also enjoy this exclusive, beautiful and private world for weddings, business events and photo shoots.
A brief history of Rhodes House
When Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) died, most of his fortune was left to create the Rhodes Scholarships. The first Rhodes Scholars came to Oxford in 1903. To mark the 25th anniversary of the Scholarships in 1928, Rhodes’s Trustees built Rhodes House to serve as both a home for the Rhodes Trust and the Scholarships, and as a memorial to Rhodes himself.
To win a Rhodes Scholarship, candidates must prove great scholastic ability and show integrity of character, interest in and respect for others, and the ability to lead and use their talents to the full. Every year the Trust awards approximately 83 Scholarships, and since inception there have been over 7000. Rhodes Scholars have gone on to give leadership in many fields in many countries around the world, including as presidents and prime ministers of several countries.
The perfect setting
Rhodes House itself reflects a number of influences: Cape Dutch farmhouse, English country mansion, and the arts and crafts movements of the 1900s. The House can be hired on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis, making it ideal for a range of events from intimate business meetings in a single room through to large-scale celebrations, such as wedding receptions that encompass the entire venue.
Three principal rooms are available The Milner Hall, The Beit Room and The Jameson Room named after three of the original Trustees: Lord Milner, Alfred Beit and Sir Leander Starr Jameson. In addition, there is a grand, circular, domed entrance-hall known as the rotunda, which opens into the Parkin Vestibule — superb for welcomes and aperitifs. From here, you walk through to an oak-panelled gallery, reminiscent of a Cape Dutch stoep — a covered verandah.
Step outside and you’ll find yourself within the beautifully maintained, typically English gardens, offering green lawns, gravel pathways and herbaceous borders. This secluded walled garden, which catches the sun from early morning to late evening, is perfect for photographic shoots and garden parties, and the west lawn is large enough for a marquee.
For more information about Rhodes House and hiring the venue, please contact us.
Step outside the House and you find yourself in the our award-winning Gardens. In the last few years we have won Silver twice and Gold in 2012 in the Colleges in Bloom competition. Guests are very welcome to make use of the Gardens which are also available for Garden Parties or pre-dinner drinks receptions. The aptly named West Lawn gets afternoon and evening sun throughout the summer and is a perfect location for outdoor events.
For further information on the gardens and the history of the gardens please click here