"The appeal of this photo is getting the large Sheldonian Theatre to look like a miniature building under the arch." J J Marshall
URBANPIX CAPTION for this Oxford card:
The Bridge of Sighs, looking back to the Sheldonian Theatre.
The Bridge of Sighs is a covered bridge that was built in 1891 to link two Hertford College sites that sit either side of New College Lane. Although the bridge is said to be named after the Ponte dei Sospiri in Venice, it looks nothing like it - but bears a striking resemblance to the Ponte di Rialto which spans the Grand Canal in Venice.
Hertford College started life as Hart Hall in 1284 and became Hertford College by Royal Charter in 1740. It has had a chequered history: it was blighted by having few endowments in its early days, and at one time was reduced to one student and one half-mad Fellow residing in a neglected building. It was rescued by banker TC Baring in 1874. Visitors are drawn to Hertford by its association with ex-Hertford student Evelyn Waugh and his portrayal of the college in his book Brideshead Revisited.
The Sheldonian Theatre (1668) is Christopher Wren’s first building and such is his efficient use of space that it holds 3,000 people (3,700 squeezed in for a concert given by Handel). The ‘marble’ interior is made of wood for the acoustics, and painted to look like marble.