A toast for Shakespeare's birthday!

Welcome to our virtual celebration of Shakespeare's birthday!

Join OPT Chairman William Whyte as he gives the OPT annual toast to Shakespeare on his birthday, raising a virtual glass to the Immortal Bard, the NHS and all those in our communities doing so much to look after us.

You've seen William's toast, now we want to see yours! Share a message and a picture/video of yourself raising your toast by tagging us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or by emailing info@oxfordpreservation.org.uk. It could be an early tipple or a good old cup of tea! 

Stay tuned throughout the day here on our website and on social media for more Shakespeare celebrations, including a virtual tour of the Painted Room, presented by OPT Director Debbie Dance, and family activities for you to download at home.

We may not be able to host our usual colourful parade this year, but birthdays can still happen and we are excited to be celebrating virtually with you all.

Happy Birthday, Shakespeare!


Why do we celebrate Shakespeare's birthday in Oxford?

OPT look after the Painted Room - all that remains of the 13th century Crown Tavern at 3 Cornmarket. Hidden above the shops and bookmakers(!), we find the place where Shakespeare stayed, with his friend and innkeeper John Davenant and family, on his annual trip from London to Stratford Upon Avon. Still more history awaits, and the amazing Elizabethan wall paintings, which lay hidden behind oak panelling for over 300 years, have recently been restored by OPT.

The First Annual Shakespeare Parade took place in 1938 when leading figures from across the town and University paraded from the Lord Mayor's Parlour at the Town Hall to the Painted Room. to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday by raising a toast to the 'immortal bard' in malmsey and sack; a sweet wine. In the 1960s the celebration ceased until OPT returned in 2013 to look after the Painted Room, and reintroduced Shakespeare's birthday celebration

Featured image from Shakespeare's birthday celebrations 2019.