Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


All Saints’ Church

City Church of Oxford 1896–1971

All Saints Church in 2004


In 1896, when St Martin’s Church at Carfax was demolished, All Saints in the High Street became the City Church.

The original All Saints’ Church was founded in 1122 on this site, but in 1700 its spire collapsed, destroying most of the church. An appeal was launched, and this new church containing 350 seats was completed by 1720.

All Saints’ Church was declared redundant and deconsecrated in 1971. Since 1976 the building has been the Library of Lincoln College.


The former church is Grade I listed (ref. 1485/320)


Historic England photographs of All Saints’ Church


All Saints Church



Right: An engraving shows All Saints’ Church in 1834


The Universal British Directory describes All Saints thus in 1791:

The church of All Saints, situated in the High-street, is an elegant modern structure, much in the style of many of the new churches in London. It is beautified both within and without with Corinthian pilasters, and finished with an attic story and balustrade. There is no pillar in the church, though it is seventy-two feet long, forty-two wide, and fifty high. The ceiling, altar, pulpit, &c. are finely executed. The steeple is remarkable, in the modern manner. Its architect was Dr. Aldrich, formerly dean of Christchurch.



Below left: Views of the interior and the roof of All Saints’ Church, after its conversion to a library for Lincoln College

Below right: The spire of All Saints’ Church with that of St Mary the Virgin behind, photographed from the tower of Carfax Church

All Saints from Carfax

Interior of All Saints Church

All Saints Church roof

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©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 27 January, 2020

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