Saxon Tower of St Michael at the North Gate Cornmarket Street
If you approached Oxford from the north 950 years ago, coming down St Giles, the most conspicuous building in your line of sight would have been the present church tower, dating from about 1050. It is probably the oldest surviving building in Oxford, rivalled only by the castle tower, and originally situated just within the North Gate, of the city, protected to the north by the city wall. All other traces of the original church have vanished, but a church there certainly was. The Domesday Book (1086) records that ‘the priests of St Michael hold two houses worth 52d’. After the tower, the earliest surviving parts of the church.
The Saxon Tower
The tower of St Michael’s is one of the oldest buildings in Oxford, dating back to the Saxon times. It is worth a visit for its historical value as well as a great view over the city of Oxford.
It is 97 steps to the top of our tower, but don’t worry – they are wide steps and not very steep. There are also some interesting things to view on the way up, so you can stop and rest for a bit.
During the summer we are open between 10:30am and 5pm (in winter we close slightly earlier).
The last admission to the tower is at 4:45pm.
The church is located in the centre of Oxford, which is accessible via junction 9 of the M40.