University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford

4.6
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Architectural Building
The University Church of St Mary the Virgin (St Mary's or SMV for short) 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, Oxford and All Souls College.
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University Church of St Mary the Virgin reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
740 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Climb the tower to get fabulous views in four directions. It really helps you appreciate the city. Well worth the £5  more »
  • Beautiful church, located in central Oxford. Free to enter, subject to social distancing rules. Apparently extremely significant in Oxford’s history. Radcliffe Camera is close to the building.  more »
  • If you want a good photo of Radcliffe Square then climb the tower. You will need sensible footwear. You get 15 mins access but plenty of time to take in the view  more »
Google
  • The best part of the Church for me its the panoramic view you can get over Oxford from the top of the tower. It's simply breathtaking. £5 fee. There is a queue most of the time, but it's worth waiting. You won't regret it!
  • My wife wanted to come up on September 17, 2019 and I gave her company. There is no toilet facilities inside the Church. We had to wait before paying and accessing and then we found out the only staircase was straight and was meant for one person only. Good views aside, I was particularly struck to see a tourist’s initials and the year 1811 inscribed on one of the wall at the top level.
  • Well what do I say, this place is really awesome and full of history ! You enter the church and get awestruck by the history attached to it. Special mention is to people who want to enjoy the aerial view of the beautiful city of Oxford should get a ticket and go to the top of the church, through the spiral stairways. There is a ticket of 5pounds though to get to the top. A must visit place if you are going to Oxford !
  • We were lucky to visit the church during a performance- they invite famous organists to play the instrument. It was impressive, we really enjoyed it. Look for the schedule at the entrance if you want to listen and not just look
  • An Oxford church, its parish consists almost exclusively of university and college buildings. It 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.

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