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“Little disappointed with the view from the top”

Great St Mary's Church (Church of England)
Ranked #25 of 178 things to do in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Overlooking the market place in the centre of Cambridge, this beautiful church dates back to 1205 - even older than the University of Cambridge! Great St Mary's was built, rebuilt, burned and built again over the centuries. The current building is largely Tudor. King Henry VII donated 100 oak trees to build its roof and Queen Elizabeth I visited the church in 1564 and gave an impressive Latin speech to the assembled scholars. Interactive touchscreens and a short film about royal Cambridge offer a perfect introduction to the history of Cambridge. Visitors can climb the tower for stunning views of King's College Chapel and the city. We also offer brass rubbing and children's activities during busier times of year. Great St Mary's is the church at the heart of Cambridge and hosts regular services, concerts, debates and community events.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
Reviewed May 6, 2013

I was little disappointed with the view on the top of the tower. They fence up the surrounding hence this affect the view, and the staircase to climb up the tower is very narrow and curvy. There are only a staircase available for visitor to climb up and come down, so it will be dangerous if too many people use the staircase at the same time especially when they are heading in different direction. Better don't climb up to the top of the tower if too many people do so. Don't feel regret if you miss out to visit this place, as it doesn't really worth for 3 pounds.

Thank LiYongOng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (246)
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All reviews
"worth the climb"
in 10 reviews
"bell tower"
in 9 reviews
"tower steps"
in 3 reviews
"spiral stairs"
in 3 reviews
"coming down"
in 3 reviews
"great tower"
in 2 reviews
"degree view"
in 2 reviews
"king james"
in 2 reviews
"brass rubbing"
in 2 reviews
"market square"
in 9 reviews
"small fee"
in 5 reviews
"worth the effort"
in 4 reviews
"breathtaking views"
in 2 reviews
"an adventure"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful stained glass"
in 2 reviews
"central cambridge"
in 5 reviews
"gift shop"
in 5 reviews

165 - 169 of 246 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2013

Beth and I had the very good fortune of visiting Great St.Mary's over the Christmas season this past Christmas. We attended services at 8:00 AM (BCP), Common Worship Eucharist at 9:30 and the Candle-light Carol service at 6:30. If we were residents in Cambridge, this would be the church that we would attend regularly. We met some wonderful, friendly and enthusiastic parishioners who treated us as family! Of especial note are: Joanna, Stewart and Peter. Stewart engaged us in lively conversation after church and just prior to scaling the 132 steps! He has a wonderful sense of humour! After the evening service he made a point of visiting with us and talking about St./ Mary's - a topic dear to his heart, obviously! I had an informative and stimulating conversation with Peter and his Pastoral work especially as University chaplain. Good luck in your thesis work, Peter. Joanna took us under her wing in a very personal and practical way. The Carol service was most moving and in spite of the number of worshippers was intimate and most meaningful! We felt in many ways it rivaled the Christmas Eve service at King's College which was moving and overwhelming in other ways! God bless our frinds and congregants at Great St. Mary's, Cambridge!

Pax, Tom and Beth

1  Thank Tomas93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2012

Really great chance to see a different view of the city. Certainly worth the perilous climb up the many many many small steps.

Thank maximusbrambo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2012

The church is nice, but the best bit is the view from on top. You pay a small fee then follow a claustrophobic spiraling staircase all the way to the roof and enjoy a great view of Cambridge.

Thank Kate C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 1, 2012

Ancient church, I believe started in the 1200's The tower doesn't look that tall from the ground, but you can see a long way from the top. The view of Kings College is worth the climb alone.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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