University Church of St. Mary the Virgin

University Church of St. Mary the Virgin

University Church of St. Mary the Virgin
4.5
Architectural BuildingsReligious Sites
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
Considered one of the oldest university buildings in the world, this is a superb example of Church Architecture from the 13th century. Standing in the very centre of Oxford, the University Church is the spiritual heart of the oldest university in Britain.
Duration: < 1 hour
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles777 reviews
Excellent
468
Very good
265
Average
36
Poor
2
Terrible
6

P J Traveller
Kongsberg, Norway86 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
Majestic church right in the University area.

This place has Mahatma Gandhi on the roof. That’s more like a trivia and one might not be able to find unless you ask one of the friendly staff at reception.
Written 1 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

William P
Oxford, UK3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
Showing family around some of our favourite sights and places in town. This was my natural choice, as the views are great if it’s a nice day. The crypt is interesting and the history of the building is incredible. Oxford has many colleges to view but this is a great one to start at. We had lunch afterwards and the chat was all about the Church. Big hit.
Written 27 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kristy Y
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
This 2018 review (in the attached photo) is exactly what happened to me today in Nov 2023. Surprisingly only one previous review about this I could find, but my family and a few groups who also got there after us all got puzzled as to why the staff don’t abide by the closing time according to their own signage. My family was double-disappointed because we tried to get in line earlier today, left due to the long line for another visit pre-scheduled, cut that schedule shorter to be in the line for the view from this church. We came back at exactly the time they said they would cut the line, yet they won’t let us stand in the queue (which is way before their official closing time in their signage) just because they feel like it’s too late for us to make it. I begged for my family but the staff’s attitude and reaction was so rude enough to ruin the good experience we were having with British people.
Written 25 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RWietlisbach
Kawasaki, Japan678 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
Lovely church, and climbing the tower gives you a breathtaking view over Oxford, although the staircase is very narrow (no one-way system in place), and so is the platform at the top. But definitely worth the £5 for the climb.
Written 10 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CaraMia
New York City, NY222 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
This is a very lovely church--historic yet modern in its approach to supporting the modern needs of its community. While we didn't do the climb to see what we hear is a gorgeous view of Oxford, we did marvel at the beautiful interior and avail ourselves of the lovely 13th century crypt cafe, where we thoroughly enjoyed some well-made coffee and tasty lemon blueberry cake...and an opportunity to dry off from a rainy afternoon.
Written 30 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TWMIM
Horsham, UK598 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Solo
A very interesting church, the official church of the oldest University in the country, and well worth a short visit.
Basic free pamphlets are available in several languages which point out the most interesting features.
Entry is free although a charge is made for ascending the tower. I only paid a short visit here on this occasion and didn’t climb the tower, but have done so before and it’s worth the extra cost for the view.
Here Henry VIII’s Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer was condemned in the reign of Henry’s daughter Mary and burnt at the stake nearby.
There’s a nice-looking café, and gift shop with a good range of souvenirs.
Written 22 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pjpeg
Huddersfield, UK41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Solo
Lovely church. Atmospheric and you can wander around it for free! There is a little gift shop and cafe under the church. You have to pay a fiver to go up the tower but we’ll worth for the views. Tight and steep in places!
Written 8 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CarltonA10
Stoke Poges, UK443 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
We called in on a walking tour of Oxford. Our guide took us upstairs and explained about the history of the building. It was fairly busy with tourists and an organist was practising which made for a good atmosphere. There is a plaque listing martyrs who have been executed in days gone by in Oxford. Free to enter.
Written 3 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

laura de Luca
Southampton, UK2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
Amazing views from the top of tower. Its a long way climbing but worth visiting if you around OXford.
Written 7 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL21,804 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
Every College has its own church; however, this is only church for the entire University. When it comes to representing the entire University, no church has better real estate located on Radcliffe Square with other impressive University architecture like the Bodleian Library and the Sheldonian Theater. Its exterior is a beautiful gothic stone edifice like all the colleges, but this is accentuated by the tallest feature in the sky. The oldest part of the church is the tower and spire from the 13th Century. It is made for pictures.

The interior, while strong and warm, was for me a little plain. However, this may in turn be a part of its utilitarian usage over the centuries. In addition to church services this was the primary place for graduations and awards until the Sheldonian was built. It was also an important historic site as the location for the Oxford Martyr's trial, the Protestant Bishops who allowed the church under Henry VIII to separate from Rome. In this church, famous religious leaders like Thomas Cranmer were condemned and burned just outside, and there is a small shine to them inside.

However, for the all the beauty and historical significance, the best part of this attraction is the climb up its tower to steeple base for the best views of the college and Oxford. My wife, daughter and I climbed this moderate walk for the most incredible views. While for us, the climb was not bad, it is incredibly tight like the balcony which requires people to ascend or descend the entire length as there is no passing. Still the views of the city and especially the Radcliffe Camera in the snow were amazing here. This is Oxford MUST SEE and DO.
Written 29 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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University Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford - Tripadvisor

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