The University Church of St Mary the Virgin
"Save the abbey church of Westminster, no church within this realm... possesses associations comparable to those attaching to St Mary's; round none do the memories of a great past cluster more thickly".
Sir T.G. Jackson, 1896
The University Church of St Mary the Virgin stands in Radcliffe Square in the historic heart of Oxford. Its tower offers panoramic views of the city and its decorated spire is the centrepiece of the ‘dreaming spires’.
Today St Mary’s welcomes thousands of visitors from all over the world and is used by the University and community for services, ceremonies, concerts, lectures, and other educational purposes. Now more of a public building than at any time in its history, the University Church has launched a project with two major aims: the conservation and protection of the outstanding heritage of the buildings, including the iconic tower and spire, and the unlocking and the making accessible of that heritage to all who come here. This latter aim encompasses the upgrading of facilities, a new and comprehensive interpretation scheme, and the delivery of a substantial new heritage education programme.