Theatres

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It now excludes places and things of interest in North East England.
These can be found in ABAB’s Places.
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ROMAN THEATRE of VERULAMIUM

The Roman theatre at Verulamium is unique in Britain, because it's a theatre with a stage, rather than an amphitheatre. It was built in about 140AD, later redeveloped and by the 4th century it is estimated it could seat an audience of some 2,000. Close to the ruins are the foundations of shops and a temple. There is not a great deal to see, but it is opposite the Roman Museum - so park near the latter and combine the two.

Part of the Gorhambury Estate.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
A4147 Road
St Albans
County
Hertfordshire
Post Code
AL3 6AE
Main Historic Period
Roman
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Verulamium Roman Museum is virtually opposite. Also St Albans Abbey nearby.
Primary Management
Private - open to the public
SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE

It was the dream of American actor and director Sam Wanamaker to recreate the Globe Theatre of Shakespeare's day in modern London. The result opened in 1997, about 200 metres from the site of the original, and is believed to be as close a reproduction of the theatres of late Tudor/early Stuart England as possible, bearing in mind modern safety standards. The first production was Henry V. The complex also includes an exhibition and the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, a smaller, more intimate, space inspired by Jacobean theatres.

Sadly, Wanamaker died in 1993.  But, thanks to him, you can experience a Shakesperian play almost as it would have been performed 400 years ago.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
21 New Globe Walk
Bankside
Southwark
County
London
Post Code
SE1 9DT
Main Historic Period
N/A
Tip/Nearby
Millenium Bridge, Tate Modern, Southwark Cathedral.
Primary Management
Other
SHELDONIAN THEATRE

The Sheldonian is the University of Oxford’s theatre and principle place of assembly - used for ceremonial occasions, including graduations, events and performances.  It is also a tourist attraction, with a panoramic view from its cupola across the dreaming spires, and welcomes visitors from around the globe.  It was built in 1664–7, entirely funded by Gilbert Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury and a former Warden of All Souls.  The architect was a young Christopher Wren, at that time Professor of Astronomy at Oxford, with as yet little practical experience of building. Inspired by drawings of Roman theatres, he adopted their D-shaped plan. However, the open arena of Rome was not suitable for the English climate and had to be covered.  To do this without introducing load bearing columns into the central space, which would ruin the resemblance to an ancient theatre, Wren designed a roof truss able to span the required 70 feet, a technical achievement which gained him great credit in scientific and architectural circles and made the roof of the Sheldonian a landmark in roof construction. From below, this technical ingenuity is concealed from view by a magnificent painted ceiling.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Broad Street
Oxford
County
Oxfordshire
Post Code
OX1 3AZ
Main Historic Period
Stuart
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Oxford city centre and colleges - handy for the Bodeian
Primary Management
Educational establishment
SMALLHYTHE PLACE

Smallhythe Place is known as the 16th century home of actress Ellen Terry (1847-1928), one of the great theatre actresses of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  She lived at Smallhythe for 30 years until her death.  Ellen Terry Her daughter Edy (Edith Craig) turned the house into a museum of her late mother, leaving the bedroom as it had been in Ellen’s life and placing displays in the sitting and dining rooms.  In addition, she converted an adjacent 17th century barn into a small theatre, which is still in use.

The immediate area around Smallhythe Place has a fascinating history.  From the 13th to the 15th centuries, it was a port and thriving shipyard, Small Hythe, on a branch of the River Rother. Both Henry V and Henry VIII are said to have had ships built here, but activities declined as the channel silted up.  The waterway is now no more than a large ditch, though barges still used it in the early 20th century.  Smallhythe Place is said to have been a significant building in its day, possibly the port reeve's house, or perhaps an inn.

Note – the house has limited opening.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Smallhythe
Tenterden
County
Kent
Post Code
TN30 7NG
Main Historic Period
Edwardian
Tip/Nearby
Tenderden, Rye, Sissinghurst Castle, Bayham Old Abbey
Primary Management
National Trust
SNAPE MALTINGS

Snape maltings is a complex of shops, holiday accommodation, café and pub centred around the world famous concert hall. The buildings are mainly converted Victorian industrial buildings, originally used for the malting of barley. The venue was created by composer Benjamin Britten and his partner, singer Peter Pears, reclaiming the old buildings. A programme of music runs all year.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Near Aldeburgh
County
Suffolk
Post Code
IP17 1SR
Main Historic Period
Modern
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Aldeburgh, Orford
Primary Management
Independent

If your favourite attraction is not listed yet, and you have a good quality digital photograph of it that you are able to freely send, please get in touch

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