Welcome to our temporary microsite. We are redeveloping our main website, but you can find all the essential information here.



Due to ongoing building works, The Rose remains closed to visitors. We look forward to seeing you — as soon as we can!

Although the physical site is closed, you can now download a free interactive, virtual Rose model created by Professor Joanne Tompkins and Ortelia as a companion to a new book, Visualising
Lost Theatres


New events: Click or tap on the calendar entry below for a full description of each event.



The Rose was erected in 1587 by entrepreneur Philip Henslowe as the first purpose-built playhouse on Bankside, in London’s borough of Southwark. Its circular shape was elongated in 1592, and the open-air stage covered with a roof. Playwrights like Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson and Dekker wrote for The Rose until it closed in 1605 and was demolished soon afterwards.

Henslowe recorded his expenses as an impresario in what is now known as his Diary, which survives to give us a wealth of information on theatrical production at the time. An archive of his papers is held at Dulwich College, which was founded by Henslowe’s son-in-law Edward Alleyn, one of the greatest actors of the 16th century and the leader of the Admiral’s Men company of players, who were resident at The Rose.

During construction work for a tower block in the late 1980s, the foundations of The Rose were uncovered in Thameside mud, and specially preserved for the nation. Its discovery profoundly changed our understanding of Elizabethan playhouses.

The illuminated outline of the playhouse can be seen from a simple visitors’ platform, where The Rose’s team of volunteers hosts plays, concerts and talks, and holds Open Days, workshops and other events.

The Rose Playhouse through time and in cyberspace


William Dudley’s vision of The Rose
as first built


C Walter Hodges’s image of 
the remodelled Rose


The Rose’s foundations uncovered

The Ortelia model

Click or tap to access Ortelia’s
interactive model

The De Montfort model

Click or tap to access
Roger Clegg’s e-book

The future

The Rose Revealed


The Rose outlined in light
and the viewing platform

The Rose Revealed Project

A capital campaign is underway, called the Rose Revealed Project, to raise funds to complete the archaeological dig by uncovering the eastern area of the playhouse, which was not explored in 1989.

Created by the Rose Theatre Trust, with support from the Lottery Heritage Fund, the Project will install an innovative conservation system and build a visitor and arts centre that will better exhibit and celebrate The Rose's history.

Become a Friend

Benefits of annual membership include receiving our monthly newsletter, members-only outings and events, and discounts on events, both online and onsite. Single membership is £20, joint membership is £30 and junior membership is £7.

Become a Volunteer

All our events and Open Days are run by our friendly team of volunteers, who are given training and ongoing support. Onsite evening theatre productions, concerts and lectures are also facilitated by volunteers, who provide front-of-house services.

Join our mailing list

Keep up to date with our latest news and events via email. We look forward to welcoming you to our community.


56 Park Street, London SE1 9AR

020 7261 9565

Copyright 2022 Rose Theatre Trust. Main image credits: Dudley’s image incorporates material by Jon Greenfield and C. Walter Hodges, and has been taken from the guidebook "The Rose, Bankside’s first theatre 1587”.


Registered Office: Rose Theatre Trust, 56 Park Street, London SE1 9AR
Registered in England and Wales
Company No 2288919 VAT No 5477686 Charity No 1095145

Patrons: Dame Judi Dench CH DBE, James Fox, Dame Janet Suzman DBE,
 Dominic Dromgoole, Andy Gurr, Emma Rice