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Saxon Tower of St Michael at the North Gate
Dating from 1040, the church tower is the oldest building in Oxford. Found on the corner of Cornmarket St and Ship St, it marks the former north gate of the city - just outside the city limits on what is now Broad St was were the Oxford Martyrs were burnt at the stake.
Artefacts are displayed in the tower including a 15th century pulpit and the door from Cranmer's prison cell.
Open Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 12 noon - 5pm.
Admission fee: £1.50
The Saxon Tower
This medieval tower is the oldest building in Oxford, nearly 1,000 years old. It offers fine views of the town. It contains a number of historical treasures, including the cells where religious martyrs were held.
- Historical Travel
1000-year old view of Oxford
I just love climbing up tall things in cities to admire the panoramic view :-))
In Oxford, you have a choice of church towers to ascend. The best 360 degree view is reputed to be from St Mary the Virgin Church, next to the Radcliffe Camera.
However, you can also climb up the oldest building in Oxford. St Michael at the North Gate has a tower which dates back to the year 1050, before the Normans invaded England! In the tower there is also a collection of the church valuables. And the 15th century church accounts.
From the top of the tower you can see across the rooftops to the Oxfordshire countryside, with the Radcliffe Camera, Oxford Castle and Tom Tower in clear view. Adults £1.50, children 80p.
The one drawback is the interior of the church is not wonderful, just pleasant - it burnt down in the 1950's. The interior of St Mary the Virgin is far more impressive, but to climb the tower you pay more.
Carfax Tower, at the end of Cornmarket Street in the heart of Oxford, is also open to climb, but no church, just a tower.
- Historical Travel
- Adventure Travel
the Saxon Tower
Oxford's oldest building is one of the Saxon Towers that made up the city's fortifications.
Built in about 1040 it was part of the Church of St Micheal of the Northgate, though the East Gates & West Gates are long gone except for the name Westgate which is a shopping centre off Queen Street.
The Tower was also part of Bocardo Prison where the Bishops Cramner, Latimer & Ridley were imprisoned there until their execution (see entry for the Martyrs memorial)
The current Tower has a gift shop & a fee is charged to enter & climb the tower itself.
- Arts and Culture
The Saxon Tower on Cornmarket is the oldest building in Oxford. You can climb the tower to get a nice view over Cornmarket and the colleges and buildings nearby.
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Oxford Travel Guide
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