The spire of Church of St Mary the Virgin, a 14th century tower that offers great views of Oxford and Nuffield

University Church of St Mary the Virgin


The ornate 14th-century spire of Oxford’s university church is arguably the dreamiest of the city’s legendary ‘dreaming spires’. Otherwise, this is famous as the site where three Anglican bishops, including the first Protestant archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, were tried for heresy in 1556, during the reign of Mary I. All three were later burned at the stake on Broad St. Visitors can climb the church’s 1280 tower (£4) for excellent views of the adjacent Radcliffe Camera.

Other notable features of the church include its 17th-century twirly-pillared porch, a 19th-century stained-glass window showing the Tree of Jesse, and a memorial to the victims of the Reformation, both Protestant and Catholic.

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