University Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford

4.6
The University Church of St Mary the Virgin is a vibrant, welcoming and inclusive church within the Church of England. Standing in the centre of Oxford, St Mary’s is the spiritual heart of the oldest university in Britain. With dignified liturgy and beautiful music, we strive to be a community of intelligent and faithful Christian witness, unafraid to engage with the modern world.

Our ‘Vaults and Gardens’ cafe is famous for its delicious, organic, and locally sourced food. The Old Library is a popular venue for meetings, conferences and entertaining.

You can climb the thirteenth century tower for the best views in Oxford.
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University Church of St. Mary the Virgin Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
691 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Remember to always arrive before 5 p.m., closing time for most attractions. The tower is no exception, so no ascent. The church, on the other hand, is open longer and is admired for the austerely Gothic style and beauty of the stained glass windows.
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  • An ancient church with an unusual interior and well worth a look. Bags of history to assimilate. There’s a vibrant street cafe outside.  more »
Google
  • The views! The views! An interesting church in a central location with great views from the top. Doesn't take long to look around inside, which is beautiful for a church this size. We paid about £10 for two adults and a child to go up the tower/spire. To just look around in side the church it is free. There is a cafe (?) inside on the north aspect. We were there as and before the sun set on a winter afternoon, and the light and views of the college's and city and Radcliffe Camera were unbeatable. The spire architecture and gargoyles etc were right there in front of you. You may have to wait 10 min or so to see the views as it is a tight space up the top, and I think they allow about 15 people at a time. Totally worth a 30 min wait we would say. There is a section on the way up the stairs that explains the clock and some history of the building. Plenty of stairs but worth it. Our kid loved it and this was a bit of a surprise. Outside on the west aspect, make sure you take note of the lamp post.
  • Unforgettable experience. One of the most beautiful church I have ever visited. I felt so serene here. The architecture is so impressive, and the view from up the tower is so breathtaking. I feel this is the best lookout point to have the best view of entire Oxford town. To get to the top of the tower, you would have to pay a small entrance fee of £4, then you will be ushered to a waiting area, where you will wait for your turn to go up to the tower , which will be in small groups, as the stair leading up to the tower is very narrow. At certain point along the way up or down, you would have to stop to give way to others coming down or going up. This is a must visit place at Oxford!
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