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History | Heritage | The University Church, Cambridge History – Heritage
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Great St Mary's viewed from King's College. Photograph courtesy of Philip Orme.

History

The first written record of Great St Mary's dates from 1205, making this church older than the University of Cambridge.

Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery,Great St Mary's tower with cherry blossom a team of volunteers has researched over 800 years of the church’s history at the heart of Cambridge.

Five interactive touchscreens showcase this research at Great St Mary’s.

We have shared a small taste of our discoveries on this website.

Explore this section to discover the royal rivals who donated to Great St Mary’s, Queen Elizabeth I’s magnificent visit in 1564, and the students, publicans and professors commemorated in a church that serves town and gown.

This beautiful perpendicular gothic building conceals famous bells, an unusual war memorial window and the tombs of a heretical professor and a doctor famous for bizarre and gruesome cures.

If you want to find out more, please visit us to explore the interactive touchscreens, or book a guided tour.