The Painted Room - Shakespeare's Painted Room, Sunday 11th September, 10.00-16.00
A remarkably preserved hidden gem with Shakespearean and Betjeman connections, once the Crown Tavern. Formerly the offices of Oxford Preservation Trust. The Painted Room is an example of what Oxford Preservation Trust do best, unlocking Oxford’s hidden history and making it accessible to all.
It is easy to miss, or dismiss 3 Cornmarket Street, the home of the Painted Room. To find it you must look beyond a later 18th century façade, the general hubbub of a city, a Vodafone shop and a bookmakers, Betfred, all doing their best to disguise this treasure.
Climb the stairs and beyond this, a magical experience awaits, where you are transported back in time to the 14th century timber-framed Crown Tavern, complete with oak-panelled walls, ancient brickwork fireplace, and stunning Elizabethan wall paintings. As if this is not enough, it is also the place where William Shakespeare stayed on his trips from London to Stratford-upon-Avon. As a friend of the innkeeper John Davenant, who had come to Oxford to save his family from the plague. William kept in touch, and it is said that John’s wife, Jane Davenant is the only name linked romantically to Shakespeare other than Anne Hathaway. John and Jane’s son, William Davenant, was Shakespeare’s godson, and later became poet laureate himself. He was wont to say that he was not the ‘god’son at all but… - oh the myths that surround Shakespeare!
Photo credit Kathryn Davies