Guide to Oxford St Mary the Virgin, Oxfordshire ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records. Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records.
Welcome to a brand new term and academic year! Our termcard is out and about and as usual, it's chock full of events! You can read the whole termcard here.
Oxford, Oxfordshire. In the early 13th century the University began to develop as scholars and teachers, with their classes of scholars, moved into small halls of residence here. They needed a central meeting place and they came to this church, using it for academic lectures as well as for Christian services.
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To get the best out of your visit to the church, take a free drop-in tour, lasting about half an hour. The church was then adopted as part of the university and by the early 13th century it was being used as the seat of government of the university. It was also used for the awarding of degrees and for meetings and lectures.
A church has stood on this spot from at least and the oldest part of the current church building dates from around with the main part of the church dating from the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The main reason people visit this church is for the panoramic views available from the 13th-century church tower, which features beautiful carved stonework with gargoyles and grotesques. Wheelchair access is available to the nave, the Adam de Brome chapel and the Old Library but the gallery and tower are not wheelchair accessible.
The present building is largely 14th and 15th century, extensively restored in the Victorian era. Of particular note are the Baroque Porch, designed by Nicholas Stone, on the South side, and the ornate Tower, from which a fine view of the city may be obtained. The Church has a long association with the University, whose ceremonies were held there until the Sheldonian Theatre was constructed. The University Sermon is still preaches here during Term; University members attending are required to wear their gowns.
It is the centre from which the University of Oxford grew and its parish consists almost exclusively of university and college buildings. St Mary's possesses an eccentric baroque porch, designed by Nicholas Stonefacing High Street, and a spire which is claimed by some church historians to be one of the most beautiful in England. The 13th-century tower is open to the public for a fee and provides good views across the heart of the historic university city, especially Radcliffe Squarethe Radcliffe CameraBrasenose College, Oxford and All Souls College.
English Churches - Oxfordshire. This is the largest of the Oxford Churches at the centre of the University area. Its C13th spire with its mass of pinnacles has been described as one of the finest in England. This has been the University Church since the early C13th, being used for lectures and awarding degrees as well as services.