Christ Church Crest


Around the walls and on the Cathedral floor are many fine monuments and memorials.  Of particular note are the Cavalier monuments in the Lucy Chapel including lawyers, soldiers and an ambassador, all Royalists who fought for Charles I in the Civil War.  From 1642 to 1646 Charles had his headquarters at Christ Church and regularly attended the Cathedral.  The Great Quadrangle, largest in Oxford, had been turned into a pound for stray and plundered cattle and hay to feed the cattle was stored in the loft above the chancel vault in the Cathedral!

In the North Transept are three fine tomb chests:  to Prior Alexander Sutton (c.1316) with a canopy over it, Lady Elizabeth Montacute (d.1354) and Sir George Nowers (early 15th c.). 

Another rich tomb chest is on the south side, to Robert King, last abbot of Osney and first bishop of Oxford (d.1557);  one of the van Linge windows also is of him.   Lady Montacute’s tomb is of particular interest and beauty: her effigy rests on cushions held by two angels, and with a dog at her feet.  Below a Purbeck marble slab are carved figures of her ten children in the costume of the period.  At the short ends are figures of the Virgin and child, Mary Magdalene (or perhaps Frideswide) and the four Evangelists.  A ceiling vault nearby retains the decoration below which the tomb originally stood.

In the ante-chapel are modern  floor-slabs  in memory of the philosopher John Locke (1632-1704)  and the art critic and social reformer John Ruskin (1819-1900), both of whom studied at Christ Church.  Locke and his contemporary at Christ Church, the physicist Robert Hooke (1635-1703), a founder of the Royal Society, were with Voltaire three pillars of the Enlightenment which sought a basis on which people of different opinions might live in peace together.

At the foot of the pulpit steps is a stone placed in 2003 to mark the tercentenary of the birth of John Wesley, from whom Methodism came. Both John and his brother, the hymnwriter Charles, were undergraduates at Christ Church and were ordained in the Cathedral as priests in the Church of England.

The Chapel of Remembrance contains a memorial to Edward Pusey, one of the leaders with Newman and Keble of the Oxford Movement in the 19th century.  From 1828 until his death in 1882 he was Regius Professor of Hebrew and Canon of Christ Church.    Nearby is a floor-slab commemorating the poet, Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-73) who ended his days at Christ Church and worshipped often in that chapel.

In the Nave near the Vice-Chancellor’s Jacobean stall is a memorial to the philosopher and divine, George Berkeley (1685-1753), after whom the University of California at Berkeley is named.  Berkeley was an Irishman, Dean of Derry and eventually Bishop of Cloyne.  The last five months of his life were spent in Oxford.  He is celebrated for his metaphysical doctrine, holding that when we affirm material things to be real, we mean no more than that they are perceived.  When not perceived by us, they continue to exist solely because they are objects of the thought of God.

The Chapel of Remembrance also contains memorials for the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.  Several times a year there is a brief service and ceremony in which the pages of the Books of Remembrance there are turned.  The memorials to Christ Church men who fell in the First and Second World War are on the walls of the main entrance porch to the Cathedral.

Printable Version