St. Michael at the Northgate, Oxford

#72 of 236 in Things to do in Oxford
St Michael at the North Gate is a church in Cornmarket Street, at the junction with Ship Street, in central Oxford, England. The church is so-called because this is the location of the original north gate of Oxford when it was surrounded by a city wall.HistoryOriginally built around 1000–1050, with the tower from 1040 still in existence, the church is Oxford's oldest building. It was constructed of Coral Rag. The church tower is Saxon. The architect John Plowman rebuilt the north aisle and transept in 1833.The Oxford Martyrs were imprisoned in the Bocardo Prison by the church before they were burnt at the stake in what is now Broad Street nearby, then immediately outside the city walls, in 1555 and 1556. Their cell door can be seen on display in the church's tower.St Michael at the North Gate is the current City Church of Oxford. That title was originally held by St Martin's Church at Carfax, and then by All Saints Church in the High Street when St Martin's Church was demolished in 1896. City Church status passed to St Michael's when All Saints Church was declared redundant in 1971 (it was subsequently converted into the library of Lincoln College, Oxford). The City Church is where the Mayor and Corporation of Oxford are expected to worship. The parishes of St Martin's and All Saints are now amalgamated with St Michael's.
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  • Have wanted to vosit St Michaels tower for years. Great experience. Entry off Cornmarket street by way of the church shop, then into part of the church. Lots of steps to the top but flat areas on the ...  more »
  • It's not much to see but if you see it and realize how old it is and it's still there it is impressive.  more »
  • Lovely church and old tower with 90 something steps to the top. Lots of history shared by displays and leaflets and well worth the visit.  more »
  • Love the views you get from here Will be back
  • One of the oldest structure in Oxford. You can climb on tower and see amazing view of Oxford
  • I have been told this is the oldest surviving structure in oxford. Very nice.
  • Fascinating example of Saxon architecture.
  • A wonderful old church - with the highlight of spectacular views across Oxford from the tower, which is worth the trip. You can walk right round the top and get great views of the Radcliffe Camera and more.

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