The Oxford Union


The Debating ChamberView from the Courtyard








The Oxford Union is an undiscovered secret in the heart of the Oxford city centre. Over the past two centuries, the Union has played host to some of the world’s greatest politicians and celebrities and has frequently found itself under the media spotlight. It would be impossible to name all the famous and influential figures who have passed through our doors – Mother Theresa, Senator Bobby Kennedy, the Dalai Lama and Michael Jackson – all have contributed to the building’s fascinating history. Now it is your turn to be our distinguished visitor.

Contact details Melissa Blake, Events Manager
Tel 01865 241353
Web address

Goodman LibraryThe Morris Room

Meeting/Dining Rooms

Name Debating Chamber Gladstone Room Macmillan Room The Morris Room The Goodman Library The Television Room The Members' Bar
Dinner (nos) 120 n/a 60 20 60 20 n/a
Buffet (nos) 120 60 60 20 30 20 150
Theatre (nos) 450 50 100 35 100 35 n/a
Classroom (nos) 150 n/a 50 15 50 15 n/a
Boardroom (nos) 60 22 30 20 30 20 n/a
Room Style Host your event in the world-famous Debating Chamber, one of the largest venues in central Oxford. Fully accessible and with a capacity of 450, the Chamber will give your event an unforgettable sense of history and occasion. The location for weekly President's Drinks, the Gladstone Room is the perfect setting for a canapé or cocktail party, holding up to 80 guests for a standing reception. The wood-panelled Macmillan Room with its stunning white barrelled ceiling makes for atmospheric private dining. Seating up to 60 guests for formal dining, it overlooks the historic Debating Chamber and can be hired for lunches or evening events. Ideal for meetings, training sessions and seminars, the Morris Room has wireless internet access and seats up to 40 delegates theatre style. Located on the ground floor, The Goodman Library is fully equipped with wireless internet and digital projector and screen. Accessible to all, it has a capacity of 120 and is a popular space for conferences and seminars. The Television Room seats 20 delegates boardroom style and comes equipped with a plasma screen and wireless internet. Our fully stocked Members’ Bar with its capacity for 250 guests, can be hired exclusively for your event.
Availability Vacation Vacation Vacation Vacation Vacation Vacation Vacation
IT facilities External IT Rental External IT Rental External IT Rental Wireless internet Wireless internet Wireless internet Wireless internet

Conference information

FAQs by potential conference clients Do you have a late license?
The Union is licensed until 11 pm on Sunday, midnight from Monday to Wednesday and until 2 am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Do you have capacity for live music and dancing?
The Union enjoys all the benefits of a Private Members’ Club and is licensed for live music and dancing.

Do you have disabled access?
Yes, there is disabled access to the Debating Chamber, Goodman Library, Members’ Bar and the Old Library. Please contact the Events Manager prior to your visit to arrange.

Is parking available on site?
Unfortunately, we do not have parking on site. The nearest car parks are Worcester Street, Gloucester Green and the Westgate Shopping Centre.

Are there any loading restrictions for deliveries?
The main entry to the Union is from St Michael’s Street and there is a small loading bay outside Mallams Auctioneers. Observation period for loading and unloading vans on the double yellow line is 20 minutes and for cars it is 5 minutes.
From 10 am - 6.30 pm Cornmarket Street is pedestrianised and, although articulated lorries would be unable to have access during these hours, transit vans can turn round and exit via New Inn Hall Street.
It is possible, by special arrangement, to extend loading and unloading times by contacting NSL Services on 0845 3371138. Please speak to the Events Manager for further details.

What technical equipment do you have available?
We work closely with Oxford’s top sound and lighting supplier and can tailor each event to your requirements, be it for a seven piece band or an ambient canapé reception.

Do you allow external catering?
All our catering is done exclusively in-house, although it is possible to bring in external caterers for a marquee reception. Please download our selection of menus from the left hand panel for more details.

Do you have provision for corkage?
The Union has access to an extensive wine list and a fully stocked Members’ Bar. However, you are welcome with prior arrangement to bring your own alcohol to the event. Corkage costs are £9.60 per 75cl bottle of wine, £14.40 per 75cl bottle of champagne or sparkling wine and £6 per litre of beer.

Do you have a preferred list of suppliers?
The Union has an extensive list of contacts and is happy to advise on all aspects of your event from entertainment and security through to floristry and decor.

Are you licensed for weddings and civil partnerships?
We are currently not licensed for ceremonies, but are available for wedding receptions. Our courtyard provides an ideal backdrop for marquees in the summer months.

Recent conference clients/Testimonials During the selection process, my meeting with you at the Union convinced me straight away that we had the right venue, and that you were able to adapt the facilities to our specific needs. The night itself was a fantastic success, with the Gladstone and MacMillan rooms having an atmosphere all of their own. The group very much enjoyed the tour, soaking up the history and legacy of the buildings, especially in the debating chamber. I must also mention the quality of both the food, and the service, which was excellent, and entirely in keeping with the surroundings. These events don't run smoothly by themselves, and I would like to thank you for pulling everything together, and ensuring that our team had a memorable evening at the Oxford Union.
Gareth Jones, Deputy Managing Director, RCI Banque

The Union is a stunning venue which suited our event perfectly; in fact it greatly added to the impact and will be an extremely difficult act to follow! I have already received notes of thanks from several guests bearing testament to the success of the evening, something which would not have been possible without the support of the Union. The team at the Union were exceptionally helpful as well as excellent ambassadors...without them the evening would not have been nearly so impressive.
Brigadier N A C Baverstock OBE

Working with the Oxford Union over the last seven years has been an absolute pleasure and the facilities get better and better. The rooms are always laid out as we require, are spotlessly clean and the staff are always helpful. It is seen as one of our ‘star’ annual events that everyone talks about with fondness.
Jill Payne, Commercial Operations Manager, PharmaTimes

The Goodman Library was the perfect setting for our guest speaker session. The Macmillan Room was very atmospheric with its candlelit tables and made the final programme dinner a night to remember. The service was friendly and attentive and we were lucky enough to have a tour of the Debating Chamber and Old Library.
Oxford Programme on Negotiation, Saïd Business School, Executive Education

Parking Unfortunately, we do not have parking on site. The nearest car parks are Worcester Street, Gloucester Green and the Westgate Shopping Centre.
Weddings (licence, receptions) We are currently not licensed for ceremonies, but are available for wedding receptions. Our courtyard provides an ideal backdrop for marquees in the summer months.
Value added services which can be provided e.g. tours, music, BBQ use of gardens, marquees etc The original Debating Chamber – now a magnificent library – boasts intriguing marble fireplace and rarely seen frescos by pre-Raphaelite artists including William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. This unique facility is an unseen gem, right in the heart of Oxford. Guided tours are available on request.

Amazingly peaceful outdoor space. Our courtyard has the capacity for both a 60x40 ft and 30x20 foot marquee simultaneously and is an adaptable backdrop for garden parties, BBQ’s, wedding receptions, fairs and exhibitions.

The Macmillan Room set out for a wedding receptionThe Gladstone Room

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Contact Details

Conference Oxford
The Painted Room
118 High Street
Oxford OX1 4BX

Tel +44 (0) 1865 276 190
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