"University Church of St Mary" University Church of St. Mary Tip by leffe3

University Church of St. Mary, Oxford: 14 reviews and 16 photos

The largest of Oxford's parish churches, a church has been on the site since Anglo-Saxon times. It was from here that the newly founded Oxford University grew in 1096 and was the first building of the new centre of academic study - used for lectures and award ceremonies.

The trial of the Oxford Martyrs in 1555 was held at the church. On the day of their death in 1556, Thomas Cranmer, former Archbishop of Canterbury, recanted his denouncing of the protestant faith at a sermon in the church, famously declaring that the hand that signed the recantations would be the first to burn.

It was the constant use of the church for graduation ceremonies (anything but ecclesiastical), clashing with religious ceremonies that led to the commissioning of the Sheldonian Theatre behind St Mary's - Christopher Wren (St Paul's) designing the building for graduations and leaving the church for less secular activities.

Nowadays the church is open daily from 9am-5pm, with the tower also open (post-service on Sundays).

Entry fee: 3/2.50 concessions/10 family

Phone: 01865-279111
Website: http://www.university-church.ox.ac.uk/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 15, 2010
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