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The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Fawsley

(4.9/5 based on 65 reviews on the web)
The University Church of St Mary the Virgin is an Oxford church situated on the north side of the High Street. It is the centre from which the University of Oxford grew and its parish consists almost exclusively of university and college buildings.St Mary's possesses an eccentric baroque porch, designed by Nicholas Stone, facing High Street, and a spire which is claimed by some church historians to be one of the most beautiful in England. Radcliffe Square lies to the north and to the east is Catte Street. The 13th century tower is open to the public for a fee and provides good views across the heart of the historic university city, especially Radcliffe Square, the Radcliffe Camera, Brasenose College and All Souls College.HistoryA church was established on this site, at the centre of the old walled city, in Anglo-Saxon times; records of 1086 note the church as previously belonging to an estate held by Aubrey de Coucy, likely Iffley, and the parish including part of Littlemore.In the early days of Oxford University, the church was adopted as the first building of the university, congregation met there from at least 1252, and by the early 13th century it was the seat of university government and was used for lectures and the award of degrees. Around 1320 a two storey building was added to the north side of the chancel — the ground floor (now the Vaults cafe) became the "convocation" house used by university parliament, and the upper storey housed books bequeathed by Thomas Cobham, Bishop of Worcester, which formed the first university library.
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TripAdvisor
  • a walk here from the hotel is a good idea after a hearty breakfast! Lots of family history and quaint entrance door, A great shame that someone stripped the roof, how no -one noticed this is a real my...  more »
  • Have been visiting for many years with family. Beautiful location. Wonderful interior as well as exterior. 
  • Such an individual beautiful church with such lovely scenery. We walked there a few weeks ago as is our tradition on Boxing Day. And the church truly is wonderful. So different to others with it's moa...  more »