Church and Tower
Visiting Great St. Mary’s can be customised to almost any need. Our Shop and Tower staff will gladly assist you in booking your visit.
- By phone: 01223 462914
- By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Entry to Great St Mary’s itself is free and you can come and go as you please. If you wish to climb the tower after you come into the church then there is a charge, (see below).
We are able to accommodate groups of various sizes. In order to ensure that your group has priority of access, we recommend that you book a reservation well in advance. Although you can risk turning up with a group in the hope of getting access to the tower, generally, booking two months in advance of your intended visit is sufficient time to reserve space; longer in prime tourist season.
The discounted rate for a group of eight persons or more is £1.50 per child of 15-yrs or under and £2.50 per adult. The concessions allowed for senior citizens or students touring individually are not granted as extra for group visits, since these prices already reflect this concession.
We can accommodate any size of group; however, we will almost certainly split groups of 24+ into two, since there is an ‘insurance policy’ limit to the amount of people allowed to be on the tower at any given time. A group visit usually takes around 20-30 minutes per party of up to 24.
The Tower :
- In Winter the tower is open from 10am to 4.00pm
- In Summer the hours are from 10am to 4.30pm
- On Sundays the tower is open from 12.45pm and closes at 4.00pm in Winter and 4.30pm in Summer.
Tickets may be purchased at the gift shop and come with a translation of what can be seen from the tower in a variety of languages, e.g. Chinese, Italian, German, Dutch, and Spanish.
Self-Guided Tower Tour prices for parties of less than eight or individuals are:
- Adult £3.50
- Child £2.00
- Student and Senior Citizen £2.80
- Family (2 adults + up to 2 children) £8.00
Please call the number above to make group bookings to the tower
HEALTH AND SAFETY NOTE – PLEASE READ IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING CLIMBING THE TOWER:
1. The tower is accessible only when weather does not constitute a hazard. The judgment of tower safety is made solely by staff of the church and will be closed if potential risk is deemed to outweigh the hazard. We cannot accept responsibility should this inconvenience your visit (and it almost certainly will, since decisions like this are made as and when the need arises). If you have made a group booking and paid in advance then you will be offered either a refund or another booking slot as you choose. We accept no other responsibility.
2. The decision to climb the tower is yours and yours alone. Please note that access to the tower is via a 123-step medieval turret staircase; therefore, persons with heart conditions or medical issues where the effort of climbing is considered hazardous should refrain from making the attempt. Great St Mary’s staff will offer no judgment in specific cases.
3. As a visitor to Great St Mary’s you are covered by our public liability insurance while you climb the tower.
4. We regret to say that there is no disabled access to the tower, since it is impossible to install the required facilities in a building of this nature.
When one visits Cambridge there is almost a hope that the “… very stones would speak.” Our knowing team of Tour Guides will tell what the stones cannot.
Guided Tours include a tower visit. You will be shown into places and see things that are not open to the general public such as our ringing chamber and the University Organ loft, and you will have time to have your particular questions answered. Guided Tours can be arranged by appointment only. To book a tour please contact Ms. Helen Long, our Head of Tour Guides, who will be pleased to arrange for a time that works for you. She can be reached at 01223 - 462914.
Both Michaelhouse and Great St. Mary’s are available for appropriate groups to use for events. To make arrangements for facility use, please contact our Church Secretary during our morning business hours of 10.00 to 13.00:
- By phone: 01223 741 716
- By e-mail: email@example.com
If you are intending to use the facility for a multi-day event, additional advance notice is recommended.
With around 100,000 visitors to the church each year from every corner of the world, the Gift Shop is the ideal place to take away a memento of your visit. You can find is in the main body of the church next to the entrance to the tower. We accept cash sterling, cheque, and most debit and credit cards. Chip and pin is available for your security.
The Gift Shop can be contacted on 01223 462914.
When you visit Great St Mary’s you will stand in a place visited by Richard III, Elizabeth I, Cardinal Wolsey, Oliver Cromwell and countless others who have had their moment in history and moved on. From the pulpit, Reformers like Martin Bucer spoke; he so compellingly that even in deadly repose he was considered enough of a threat that Queen Mary Tudor had his already dead body burned in the marketplace. But he remains in Great St Mary’s and so do his works.
We hope you will feel a little of what has been witnessed here. On this site, for a millenium, has stood a place of worship known by many names. It was built, rebuilt, burned and built again, each time a little higher and a little closer to heaven. We hope you will visit and take a moment out of your personal history to add to the rest…