Rhodes House

For other uses, see Rhodes House (disambiguation).
Rhodes House from South Parks Road
The great hall (Milner Hall) in Rhodes House, being used for the Price Moot Court competition

Rhodes House is part of the University of Oxford in England. It is located on South Parks Road in central Oxford, and was built in memory of Cecil Rhodes, an alumnus of the university and a major benefactor.


The will of Cecil Rhodes (1853–1902) created scholarships that became known as Rhodes Scholarships, administered by the Rhodes Trust.[1]

The Rhodes House building was designed by Sir Herbert Baker in a colonial style and was completed in 1928. Architectural sculpture was provided by Charles Wheeler

During 1931, Albert Einstein delivered a series of three lectures at Rhodes House.[2] Edmund Bowen, a chemistry don at the university, saved the blackboard used in the second lecture (on 16 May). Einstein's Blackboard, now an iconic object, can still be seen at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford,[3] formally presented by Sir Francis Wylie, the Warden of Rhodes House at the time.

Rhodes House was the location for one of the gigs of the band Ugly Rumours in the early 1970s, of which former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was a member. The Oxcentrics jazz band also played at Rhodes House.

Portraits at Rhodes House

Rhodes House houses a significant collection of paintings and photographic portraits and busts, including of:

The Rhodes Trust

The Rhodes Trust is based at Rhodes House. The Rhodes Trust, established in 1902 under the terms and conditions of the will of Cecil Rhodes, and by subsequent Acts of Parliament, is an educational charity[4] whose principal activity is to support scholars selected from the citizens of 14 specified geographic constituencies to study at the University of Oxford. Rhodes Scholarships for up to three years have been awarded annually since 1903.[5] Cecil Rhodes' goals in creating the Scholarships were to promote civic-minded leadership among young people with (in the words of his 1899 Will) "moral force of character and instincts to lead", and (in the words of a 1901 codicil to his Will) to help "render war impossible" through promoting understanding between the great powers.[6]

In 2002, the Rhodes Trust partnered with Nelson Mandela to establish the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship.[7] The Rhodes Trust provides the Rhodes Scholarships in partnership with the Second Century Founder, John McCall MacBain, and other generous benefactors.

The Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees.[8] The current Warden of Rhodes House is Charles R. Conn, who acts as Secretary to the Rhodes Trust.[9]

Current trustees

The following are trustees:[8]

Emeritus trustees

Notable former trustees

List of Chairmen of the Trust

List of Wardens


  1. History, The Rhodes Trust, Oxford, UK.
  2. Albert Einstein — Honours, prizes and awards: Oxford University, Albert Einstein in the World Wide Web, Germany.
  3. Albert Einstein, Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, UK.
  4. Charity Commission. RHODES TRUST - PUBLIC PURPOSES FUND, registered charity no. 232492.
  5. The Rhodes Trust, Rhodes House, Oxford, UK.
  6. See, e.g., "To 'render war impossible': the Rhodes Scholarships, educational relations between countries, and peace" in Donald Markwell, "Instincts to Lead": On Leadership, Peace, and Education, 2013.
  7. Mandela Rhodes Foundation (2010) The Mandela Rhodes Scholarships Retrieved 1 October 2012
  8. 1 2 Rhodes Trust Board of Trustees, Rhodes House, Oxford, UK.
  9. "The Rhodes Trust and Trustees". Rhodes House.

Further reading

Books by former Wardens of Rhodes House, Oxford:

Coordinates: 51°45′27″N 1°15′18″W / 51.75750°N 1.25500°W / 51.75750; -1.25500

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