Carfax is at 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, and is at The name “Carfax” derives from the Latin “quadrifurcus” via the French “carrefour”, both of which mean “crossroads”.
View from the top of St Martin’s Tower
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 the 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. In 1896 the City Church was moved to All Saints Church in the High Street.
The tower is 74 feet (23 m) tall, and no building in central Oxford may be built higher than it. It is a Grade II* listed building.
The tower still has a ring of six bells: five recast from the original ring by Richard Keene of Woodstock in 1676, plus another cast by Keene two years later. They are rung on special occasions by the Oxford Society of Change Ringers.
There is also a clock that chimes the quarter hours on a pair of bells cast by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough in 1898. The clock’s current dial and surroundings were designed by Sir TG Jackson and installed in 1898. In 1938–39 the clock mechanism was replaced with an electric one made by Gents’ of Leicester.
It is possible to climb to the top of the tower for a view of the Oxford skyline. The tower is open 10am–5.30pm Easter to October, and 10am–3.30pm October to Easter.
Blenheim Palace (pronounced blen-im) is a monumental country house situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It is the principal residence of the dukes of Marlborough, and the only non-royal non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. The palace, one of England’s largest houses, was built between 1705 and circa 1722. Blenheim Palace was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
The building of the palace was originally intended to be a reward to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, from a grateful nation for the duke’s military triumphs against the French and Bavarians during the War of the Spanish Succession, culminating in the 1704 Battle of Blenheim. However, soon after its construction began, the palace was to become the subject of political infighting; this led to Marlborough’s exile, the fall from power of his duchess, and lasting damage to the reputation of the architect Sir John Vanbrugh.
Designed in the rare, and short-lived, English Baroque style, architectural appreciation of the palace is as divided today as it was in the 1720s. It is unique in its combined usage as a family home, mausoleum and national monument. The palace is also notable as the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill.
Following the palace’s completion, it became the home of the Churchill, later Spencer-Churchill, family for the next 300 years, and various members of the family have in that period wrought changes, in the interiors, park and gardens. At the end of the 19th century, the palace was saved from ruin by funds gained from the 9th Duke of Marlborough‘s marriage to American railroad heiressConsuelo Vanderbilt. The exterior of the palace remains in good repair.