Carfax Tower

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Queen Street, Oxford, United Kingdom
01865 790522
Carfax Tower - View from Carfax Tower, Oxford
Carfax Tower - Carfax Tower, Oxford
Carfax Tower - View from Carfax Tower, Oxford
Carfax Tower - Weather vane at Carfax Tower, Oxford
Carfax Tower - Carfax Tower, Oxford
Carfax Tower - Exterior view of Carfax Tower
Carfax Tower - Carfax Tower

Carfax Tower Oxford Reviews

king_golo king_golo
28 reviews
Carfax Tower Jan 30, 2017
If you want to enjoy a view over Oxford's rooftops, but don't dare to climb the steep stairs of St. Mary the Virgin, then Carfax Tower should be your port of call. Located at the top end of High Street, the tower is the city's most popular meeting place but also a prototypical tourist attraction. A watchman in front of it sounds a bell every some minutes and yells at people to check out the tower (and also the needless open top hop-on hop-off bus tours).

You can see what I mean: Carfax Tower is very touristy and should really only be second choice if you can't or don't want to climb St. Mary's tower. Moreover, while the view is still worth the climb, you're only half as high and don't have the colleges spread out directly below you, but rather the roofs of Cornmarket Street and its shopping centres. On the other hand, you can enjoy watching the masses of people from above.

Carfax Tower is all that remains of a 13th century church and doesn't resemble a church much anymore. The only thing that might remind you of a church is a set of figures that start moving on the hour. Its name allegedly derives from the French word "carrefour", meaning "junction". There is still a junction in front of it - one of Oxford's busiest. Admission to Carfax Tower is currently 2.20 GBP.
Carfax Tower
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Airpunk Airpunk
502 reviews
Carfax Tower Jan 14, 2017
Located at one of the most important junctions in central Oxford, Carfax Tower has a very prominent place among Oxford's landmarks. It was once the tower of St. Martin's Church, but the church was demolished in 1896 when more room was needed for car traffic. The junction was not only the source for the church's demise, but also for the name. Carfax comes frim Carrefour which is not only a supermarket chain but also the French word for crossroads.

You can climb up the tower for a fee of 2,20 GBP (2016). Although the height of 23 metres is tiny compared to other church towers around the country, there is a law saying that no building in central Oxford may be built higher than Carfax Tower. That means that you will get a good view over the old town from here. Carfax Tower is also home to the tourist information office as well as to a well-preserved classic red public phone booth.
Carfax Tower, Oxford
Weather vane at Carfax Tower, Oxfo…
View from Carfax Tower, Oxford
View from Carfax Tower, Oxford
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
cotton_foam says:
Thanks for sharing!
Posted on: Jan 14, 2017
joelennon joelennon
16 reviews
Apr 17, 2007
The Carfax tower is a good place to get a view over the city of Oxford. It's not quite the view you'll get in a big city, but the view in the direction of "the High" is particularly nice. It's only 2 pounds to go up, and you'll get some nice photos from up there. The stairs are windy and there's only room for a single file, so try not to get dizzy! The viewing scope is useless, you'll see more using the zoom on your camera, so don't waste your time with it! The nicest thing about the tower is the exterior view of it, which is very attractive.

The tower is all that's left of St. Martin's church, built in the 13th century. A road widening scheme in 1896 resulted in the church being knocked down. There are quarterboys on the tower which ring bells every 15 minutes, and the original church clock is also on the tower. I'll post pictures of the view and of the quarterboys soon!
Exterior view of Carfax Tower

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