Oxford Timeline

Here we present a brief outline of the history of the Church and the City, intertwined as they are. For more detail about the Church please see our History page here.

h    History

900           A river crossing for oxen began around this time: ‘Oxnaford’

1000        Church building originates around this time

1040        Saxon Tower completed as a defense structure

1086        Domesday Book mentions St Michael’s and two priests’ houses

1096        University of Oxford – first evidence of teaching at this site

1191        Charter granted by Henry 11 gave freedoms to the City equivalent to those enjoyed in London. Various religious houses were founded subsequent to this and these are still in evidence today.

1258        Provisions of Oxford – constitutional reforms (a baronial council) building on Magna Carta to limit Henry 111’s authority – Simon de Montfort leading the barons.

1290        Edict of Expulsion. Edward 1 decrees that all Jews are to leave the country. Oxford’s Jewish population had already diminished earlier in that century and the last Jewish families now departed. Great Jewry Street became St Aldate’s, the land passing to Balliol College and then later to Christ Church.

1348        Plague reaches Oxford in November, raging until June 1349.

1555        Martyrdom of Bishops Latimer and Ridley in Broad Street
1556        Martyrdom of Archbishop Cranmer in Broad Street

1642        Oxford becomes the country’s capital under Charles 1

1656        Cromwell permits Jews to return to England. A small community develops around St Clement’s.

1665        Plague in London and Charles 11 flees to Oxford. Parliament sits at Oxford in October.

1865        Oxford School of Art founded

1953        Fire destroys much of the Church
1954        Church reconstruction and renovation completed

1971        St Michael’s becomes the City Church of Oxford. This honour was previously held by St Martin’s, Carfax (1122-1896), and then All Saints’, High Street (1896-1971). St Martin’s has been demolished and All Saints is now Lincoln College Library. All three churches formed one benefice over the centuries; only St Michael’s survives as a functioning church.

1992        Oxford Brookes University given its charter; began as OSA in 1865

1994        Visitor Centre and Saxon Tower opened to the public

2019        Our new vicar, The Revd Anthony Buckley

2020        Pandemic

f   Future

2040        We are excited about the upcoming 1000 year anniversary of the Tower.
Plans are already underway!