• This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 160 PAR211
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      38 boxes

Scope and Content

St. Michael at the Northgate is situated on Cornmarket Street, near the old North Gate of Oxford, hence its name (there was once a church of St. Michael at the Southgate, to the south of St. Aldate's, but this was demolished by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525 to make way for what is now Christ Church College). St. Michael is one of the oldest parishes in Oxford, and its tower agreed to be the oldest building in the city, dating from the early 11th century.

In 1427, St. Michael, along with the neighbouring churches of All Saints and St. Mildred were converted by the Bishop of Lincoln into a collegiate church for the newly-founded Lincoln College. St. Mildred was demolished, and St. Michael, like All Saints, was served by a chaplain or curate appointed by the College (he was usually one of its Fellows).

In 1848, St. Michael's officially became a curacy, and then in 1869 a vicarage, whose living was held by Lincoln College. From 1943, the living of St. Michael was united with the combined parish of All Saints and St. Martin, and when the church of All Saints and St. Martin was closed in 1971, St. Michael's became the only church in the parish, and took over the role of the official City Church of Oxford.

The records of St. Michael at the Northgate have been deposited at various times, and from various sources. Most of them were deposited by the Parochial Church Council with the Bodleian Library in 1978, 1980, 1982 and 1983, and then directly with Oxfordshire Archives in 1990 as Accession Nos. 3042 & 3047 (all the papers deposited with the Bodleian were transferred here in the 1980s). Other deposits were made with the Bodleian Library in 1978 and 1982 by the Trustees of St. Michael's Parish Charities, and in 1952 by Messrs. Marshall and Eldridge, and with Oxfordshire Archives by the Assistant Archivist of Lincoln College in 1990 as Accession No. 3159. A further deposit, under Accession No. 4657 was made in November 1999. Appendix I lists the contents of each deposit, with the relevant donor, and Appendix II provides a concordance of old and new references.

Catalogued by Robin Darwall-Smith in May 1998, with an addition made by Hannah Jones in August 2003.


A. Crossley (ed.): The Victoria County History of Oxfordshire, Vol. IV: The City of Oxford (Oxford 1979), pp.394- 397.


Several parish records of Oxford St. Michael, most of which had been deposited there in the last century, are still retained in the Bodleian Library.

These comprise:

Box of miscellaneous papers on the church, 1821-1893 (given by Rev. Andrew Clark in 1893). Ref. MS Top. Oxon. b.35.

Accounts for the chantry chapel of St. Michael, 1477. Ref. MS. Top. Oxon. b.291.

Volume of Marriage Licences and Banns Certificates, 1834-1884 (given by Rev. Clark in 1893). Ref. MS. Top. Oxon. c.109.

Register of Services, 1885-1894 (given by Rev. Clark in 1894). Ref. MS. Top. Oxon. d.43.

Certificates of Registry of Deaths, issued in connection with burials at Oxford St. Michael, 1838-1864 (given by Rev. Clark in 1893). Ref. MS. Top. Oxon. f.17.

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Geographical Names