Carfax, Oxford

Oxford, United Kingdom

Carfax, Oxford


Carfax is the junction of St Aldate's (south), Cornmarket Street (north), Queen Street (west) and the High Street (east) in Oxford, England. It is considered to be the centre of the city. The name "Carfax" derives from the Latin quadrifurcus via the French carrefour, both of which mean "crossroads". The Carfax Tower, also known as St. Martin's Tower (it is the remaining part of what was the City Church of St. Martin of Tours) is a prominent landmark and provides a look-out over the town.

St Martin's Tower, popularly called "Carfax Tower", is on the northwest corner of Carfax. It is all that remains of the 12th-century St Martin's Church and is now owned by Oxford City Council. It was the official City Church of Oxford, where the Mayor and Corporation were expected to worship, between about 1122 and 1896, when the main part of the church was demolished to make more room for road traffic and All Saints' Church in the High Street became the City Church for 75 years. All Saints then became the library of Lincoln College, and St Michael at the North Gate became the City Church.

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