Carfax Tower

Carfax Tower showing street scenes and heritage elements
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Climb the narrow, winding staircase to reach the top of this tower, which is considered the very centre of Oxford, for a panoramic view over the city.

Carfax Tower is the only remaining ruin of a 12th-century church that once stood right in the center of Oxford. It reaches a height of 74 feet (23 meters). Ascend the 99 steps to get to the tower’s peak and look out over the rest of the city.

The way up is via a spiraling green staircase made from metal. Once you reach the top, pick out your favorite landmarks and university sites and take photos of the excellent view. Note how the buildings in the city center are roughly the same height. This is due to a law preventing the building of structures taller than the Carfax Tower in this part of the city.

When you are ready, begin your descent down the steps. There is a landing halfway down where you can rest. At street level, admire the tower’s old-fashioned clock and arched portal. The clock is a replica of the church’s original timepiece. The tower uses mechanical figures, known as quarterboys, to hammer the bells every 15 minutes.

The site is officially known as St. Martin’s Tower Carfax refers to its central geographical position, which has French and Latin origins, and means “crossroads.”

The tower opens daily from morning until early evening in summer, with earlier closing times in winter. There is a small entrance fee, with discounts for kids.

Carfax Tower stands right in the heart of the city of Oxford. St. Peter’s College and Jesus College of the University of Oxford are each just a short walk away. The tower is also near to other landmarks, such as the St. Michael at the North Gate, the Museum of Oxford and St. Aldate’s Church. Take a bus from other parts of the city to reach the city center, where you’ll find the tower.

Top Trending Hotels Near Carfax Tower

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Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
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Malmaison Oxford
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Malmaison Oxford
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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