English Churches - Oxford

All Saints' Church, Oxford


Once the City Church, but now the library of Lincoln College


The splendid steeple of All Saintís Church is one of the characteristic features of the Oxford skyline. 

All Saints' Church, Oxford

The church has had a chequered history. The original building was founded in 1122 but in 1700 the spire collapsed demolishing most of the building. After an appeal for funds, the present splendid neo-classical church was built. Donations came from most of the Oxford colleges and also Queen Anne. They got a building to be proud of. Nicholas Hawksmoor, known for his splendid ceilings in nearby Blenheim Palace, is thought to be responsible for the spire.

All Saints' Church, Oxford        All Saints' Church, Oxford

When St Martinís Church at Carfax was demolished in 1896, All Saintís became the city church, where the Lord Mayor and Corporation were expected to worship. By the late 1960s, the congregation had dwindled with very few regular members, apart from Civic Services. The church was declared redundant and deconsecrated. It was taken over by the adjacent Lincoln College as part of their library.  Unfortunately the College do not let visitors into the library.  St Michael at the North Gate became the City Church.

As there are so few pictures showing what the interior of the church looked like, I have scanned these pictures taken by husband using a half frame camera in 1968. He was a regular member of the congregation and PCC secretary when he lived in Oxford.

It was a splendid building, a large open space with wall pillars with elaborately carved capitals soaring up to the roof. The organ was above the west gallery. Behind the altar were boards with the Lordís Prayer, Creed and Ten Commandments, obligatory in churches at that time. They were set in a splendid portico with gilded angels. 

All Saints' Church, Oxford

All Saints' Church, Oxford

All Saints' Church, Oxford

All Saints' Church, Oxford

All Saints' Church, Oxford

All Saints' Church, Oxford

All Saints' Church, Oxford

The Church is at the junction of Turl Street and High Street. The nearest post code is OX1 3DR  and the grid reference is  SP 515062.

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