"The Martyrs' Memorial is difficult to photograph as it is so tall and thin and it sits on a busy traffic junction. However, on this occasion, the blizzard kept the traffic down and I found a slight dip from which to take the photograph. The red bus adds colour interest and I liked the visibility of the snow falling." J J Marshall
URBANPIX CAPTION for this Oxford card:
St Giles extends from St Giles’ church and the war memorial in the north, to the Martyrs’ Memorial in the south and is lined on both sides of its wide avenue by London plane trees. Cattle and sheep used to be driven along St Giles to market and there was a drinking pond for the animals where the war memorial now stands.
The Martyrs’ Memorial, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott was built in 1841-3 by public subscription, and commemorates Hugh Latimer (Bishop of Worcester), Nicholas Ridley (Bishop of London) and Thomas Cranmer (Archbishop of Canterbury) who were tried for their alleged Protestant heresies when the Roman Catholic Queen Mary came to the throne in 1553. The trial took place at St Mary the Virgin Church in Oxford’s High Street n 1554, and the men were condemned to burn at the stake in Broad Street, where today, an iron cross in the road marks the spot where it occurred.
The statues on the Memorial, were sculpted by Henry Weekes. Cranmer faces north and holds a bible, Ridley faces east, and on the west is Latimer, his head bowed and his arms crossed. An inscription explaining the memorial can be read on the north face.