Oxford church tower reopens after revamp

University Church of St Mary the Virgin The five-year scheme will help repair the church's facade

The first part of a £5m refurbishment of one of Oxford's biggest churches has been completed with its tower reopening to the public.

University Church of St Mary the Virgin is being given a revamp as part of a conservation project.

After six months of work, its tower can be climbed once more by the public.

The five-year scheme, which started last year, will help repair the church's facade, including the stonework and spire.

The Grade I listed building, which dates back to 1320, sits within Oxford's Conservation Area, St Mary's, and attracts more than 300,000 visitors to the city each year.

During the 13th Century, it was used for meetings of the university's ruling body and housed its first library, the predecessor to the world-famous Bodleian Library.

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