Christ Church Cathedral


Christ Church Cathedral, entered from the quad, doubles, uniquely, as the college chapel and the city’s cathedral. From the 8th century onwards, this site held a priory that centred on the Anglo-Saxon shrine of St Frideswide, Oxford’s patron saint. Erected during the 12th century, the priory church became part of Cardinal Wolsey’s new Cardinal College in 1525. The original shrine was destroyed during the Reformation, and Henry VIII made the church a cathedral when he renamed Christ Church in 1546.

Inside, brawny Norman columns are topped by elegant vaulting, while beautiful stained-glass windows include a 1320 depiction of the murder of Thomas Becket, above the side altar on the right. As you leave, you’ll pass through the 15th-century cloister, another relic of the ancient Priory of St Frideswide.

As Christ Church is a working Anglican cathedral, there’s no charge to visit for private prayer or to attend a service – ask the porters at the main gate. Evensong is celebrated at 6pm most days.

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