Great St Mary’s is the University Church.
There has been a church on the site since at least 1200 and the present building dates from the late 15th century.
The tower was completed in 1608, and you can go up to see view's over Cambridge and the College's. The chimes from its clock tower were copied for the Westminster chimes at Big Ben in London.
Winter the tower is open from 10 to 3.30PM
Sundays 12.30 - 4PM
Self-Guided Tower Tour
Adult £3.50.....Child £1.70......Student and Senior Citizen £2.60
Family (2 adults + up to 2 children) £7.00
Tickets may be purchased at the gift shop and come with a translation of what can be seen from the tower in a variety of languages, e.g. Chinese, Italian, German, Dutch, and Spanish.
Located right in front of King’s college and in neighbourhood of some more of them, Great St. Mary’s church is the student’s church. Once, there was even a law that students were not allowed to live further than three miles away from this church. The first church built on this place dates back to 1205, the current church was finished in 1519. Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, Alumni at Queen’s College and one of the historical figures of the reformation, preached in this church. It was also from him that I borrowed and altered my travel motto :)
The tower is 114 feet (35 metres) high, to reach the top you have to climb 123 steps. On the way you get a close up view of the tower's bells. Once at the top you get a spectacular panoramic view of the centre of Cambridge.
Great St Mary's is usually called the university church.It was built in late 15th/early 16th century. Two things I liked most of this church: The carvings and the tower.
I admired the beautiful carvings at the pews. Eagle and lion I could recognize without any problem, but I'm not so sure about the other animal, most probably it's a dog.
If you have time enough, climb up to the top of the tower. It's a narrow staircase and quite a lot of steps, but I was rewarded by a wonderful view of Cambridge, the colourful market stalls as well as the spires of the colleges.
Inside the church there is gift shop with books,greeting cards etc. It is somewhat strange to see a shop inside a church, but I can understand that lots of money is needed to keep a church as old as this one.
Entry to the church is free, if you want to climb up the tower it's £2.50. You pay at the gift shop. Be careful, the entrance door to the tower is small and the staircase is really narrow.
The University Church of Great St Mary
Situated right opposite King's College Chapel is Great St Mary. Though very much smaller than King's College Chapel, it has a great chime when her bells toll for ages on a Sunday afternoon.
You can climb up the bell tower for a panoramic view of the city, though you might feel the tower shaking when the bells are tolling, not to mention what you will hear with your ears!
The first known church on this site dated back to 1205. The present structure was built from 1478 to 1519, and the tower added in 1608. Here, some of the leaders of the English Reformation, such as Erasmus and Thomas Cranmer, preached. For a fine view of the town, climb up to tower and have a look around.
The church at Great St. Mary's College is a prominent landmark in Cambridge, located centrally right next to the market and near that administrative offices for Cambridge University. Visitors can climb the stairway up to the top of the church and get a great view of the entire city.
This is the University Church. All distances in Cambridge are measured from Great St Mary's. At one time University students were not allowed to live more than three miles from here. Fine views of the city can be seen from the tower - so get your walking boots on and climb the steps!. The quarter hour chimes, composed in 1793, were copied for the chimes of Big Ben.
A walk inside Great St Mary's is free and it costs GBP2 to get up to the tower. Be warned that it is a fairly steep climb up a tight circular staircase. At the top there is a view of the colleges and beyond to the countryside.
The University Church is one of the most elegant buildings in the city. It dates from the 15th Century and it was here that until the mid-seventeenth century degress were awarded. The tower is well worth a visit as it offers great views over the colleges and the town.