From the Christ Church college quad, you access 12th-century Christ Church Cathedral. It was originally the abbey church and then the college chapel, but it was declared a cathedral by Henry VIII when he broke from the Catholic Church, suppressed more monasteries and convents, and gave the college its current name in 1546. It was formerly known as Cardinal’s College.
Inside, brawny Norman columns are topped by elegant vaulting, and beautiful stained-glass windows illuminate the walls. Keep an eye out for the 13th-century reliquary of St Frideswide, Oxford’s patron saint, whose Anglo-Saxon shrine was a focus of pilgrimage prior to the college being built. Other notable features include the stained-glass depiction of the murder of Thomas Becket, dating from 1320, above the side altar on the right. As this is a working Anglican cathedral, there’s no charge to visit it for private prayer or to attend a service – talk to the porters at the main gate. Evensong is held at 6pm most days.