The University Church of St Mary the Virgin at Oxford is a living, liberal and inclusive church within the Church of England. It is the spiritual heart of Britain’s oldest university and has been the focus of Christian worship and debates on religion, politics and morality for more than seven hundred years. The Church has a rich history, it began to be used as a stage for lectures and meetings in the early thirteenth century. In 1665 the Protestant Arcebisto of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer was judged within the Church by Roman Catholic government, for inseminating the separation of its parents, King King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Crenmer was also responsible for the Protestant Book of Prayer and many changes in the Church. At his trial, he refused to change his faith and in March of 1556 was burned at a campfire on Broad Street, nearby. Important names were part of the Church, such as John Wesley, the founder of Methodism in the 1738 period, John Henry Newman, who in 2010 became Holy, to the Catholic Church, which with a movement had great impact on the English Church.
The Church today is a mixture of medieval and contemporary. It is a physical reminder of the deep historical roots of Christianity and the changes in the ways people have understood God. The oldest part of the current building is the Tower, built in 1280, which is well worth climbing up your steps to see the City of Oxford by the top. The ornate spine of the tower was added a little later, between 1315 and 1325 – giving the Church the most distinctive and beautiful towers of Oxford. The Adam Brome Chapel was contsruida in 1324 by the rector of the University Adam Brome. And the timber of the building dates back to 1733. During this period the chapel was used as a court.
The Best of the Visit, The Tower
In addition to having the best view of Oxford, climbing the 127 steps of a Medieval Spiral staircase is a very cool experience. On the way up there are some small gaps where you can see what’s coming. Before arriving at the end of the tower, there is a kind of a room, with a sketch of the buildings and a brief explanation about them. In this same hall, it is possible to see the inner part of the clock of the tower made by hand by the watchmaker of Warwick, Thomas Paris in 1741. Upon reaching the top of the tower, the image impresses! You have a 360º view of the city. As the Church is adjacent to the Radcliffe Camera, it is possible to have a privileged view of this Neo Classical building from 1737. It is also possible to have a differentiated view of most of the Colleges of Oxford University, looking from above to observe the towers and some internal parts Of the colleges. Note also the girdles nailed to the tower and some statues in its vicinity.