University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford

4.7
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
734 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Located directly opposite the Radcliffe Camera building this originally formed part of the university. It is a lovely church which is well worth a visit. Access can be gained to the top of the tower.....  more »
  • Apparently this is where the University of Oxford started in the 12th century. A fascinating place and well worth a tour if you can get one.  more »
  • Always a pleasure to visit places where much activity takes place with a spiritual impact on student life - character of life just as important as head knowledge!!  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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1 day in Oxford BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems Preferences: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 1 day in Oxford BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems Preferences: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 32 days in Italy, United Kingdom & Greece BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular & hidden gems Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 6 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, historic sites, hidden gems Preferences: August, historic sites Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 8 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, historic sites, hidden gems Preferences: August, historic sites Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 15 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, hidden gems Preferences: August Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Medium 57 days in London BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, culture, relaxing, beaches, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems Preferences: August, culture, relaxing, beaches, museums, shopping Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 7 days in Bath & Oxford BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, wildlife, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems Preferences: June, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Fast-paced 6 days in Bath & Oxford BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: June, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 15 days in London & Edinburgh BY A USER FROM BRAZIL August, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems Preferences: August, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 60 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping, extra fast, hidden gems Preferences: March, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Extra fast 58 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM INDIA February, popular & hidden gems Preferences: February Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium
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