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University Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford

Categories: Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.6/5 based on 440+ 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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  • There is a cafeteria-style restaurant on the ground floor of the church that is amazing! Great food (good selection of main dishes, salads, soup, all delicious and very reasonably priced, much of it o...  read more »
  • Bruno debated Professor Underhill in front of the Polish Prince Laski, June 1583. The Professor had only received his Divinity doctorate in 1581; Bruno had paraphrased Marsilio Ficino, how love is for...  read more »
  • Well this time around compared to continued two years ago, again through word of mouth, but previously crowded in August, to be rushed up and down the morning in September was up slowly in, very slowly and was at the top of the tower. We noticed that is halfway up the Tower, Oxford's big picture on the wall (or picture is painted on the wall? ) There. About the painting has a notation that any College which building, which towers, it is the character of the building rises in mind and thought. Some because they know even after walking through the streets of Oxford, with many colleges from the top of the Tower, which is building what. The view from the top of the tower is still many times even thought I don't get.
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  • Look past the Radcliffe Camera lies the Univeristy Church of St Virgin Mary. This is the heart of Oxford. You can scale the stairs up the clock tower and be rewarded with a bird’s eye view of the city.
  • Didn't climb the tower (not free) but otherwise a typically medium anglican church. Some images exist; not clean post-reformation.
  • Climb up a few dozen staircases and enjoy the best view on the magnificent Redcliffe Camera.
  • Amazing stained glass.
  • you have definitely to climb the tower. you will hardly get a similar view and amazing feeling elsewhere. a plus is also the low price for climbing. indoors the church looks good but I couldn't see a big difference between other British church's.
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