Martyrs' Memorial

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Martyrs' Memorial in Oxford is a stone monument located just outside the Balliol College at the intersection of St Giles’, Magdalen and Beaumont Streets.

The monument was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott to commemorate 16th century bishops Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer. They were Prelates of the Church of England who were burned at the stake in 1555 and 1556 in Oxford during the reign of Queen Mary (Bloody Mary) who had England reconciled with Rome and abandon Church of England. The actual site of the burning is marked by an iron cross set in the pavement outside Balliol.

The funds for setting up the Martyr’s Memorial were raised by Reverend Golightly and his intent was to remind the inhabitants that the Church of England's founding fathers had been martyred by the Roman Catholic Church. The Victorian Gothic monument was designed in 1838 and completed by a sculptor Henry Weekes in 1843. The material used for the monument was magnesian limestone.

An urban legend says that students who wanted to earn money have duped tourists by telling them, that the Martyrs’ Memorial is in fact a spire of sunken chapel. They navigated them to the stairs round the corner which led to public toilets.
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