The Union is the world's most prestigious debating society, with an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford. It has been established for 189 years, aiming to promote debate and discussion not just in Oxford University, but across the globe. The Union is steeped in history. It was founded in 1823 as a forum for discussion and debate, at a time when the free exchange of ideas was a notion foreign to the restrictive University authorities. It soon became the only place for students to discuss political topics whilst at Oxford. W. E. Gladstone, later to become one of the greatest British Prime Ministers, was one of the leading figures of the Union's early years. Gladstone was President of the Union in 1830, shortly before entering the House of Commons. Many others have followed him into politics, and the Union can boast dozens of former members who have been active in its affairs whilst at Oxford and then gone to become both nationally and internationally prominent figures. It is stressed that the paintings at the Oxford Union are not in public ownership. Subject to availability, the Debating Chamber may be viewed on weekdays when the Union Library is open, please check our website for up-to-date opening times. Please enter the main buildings and enquire at Library Reception. There is a charge of £1.50 per person for visitors who are not members of the Oxford Union Society.
The Oxford Union
Frewin Court, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3JB England
Please remember to double-check the opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit