The Martyrs Memorial is a stone monument near Beaumont Street in Oxford. It commemorates the Anglican Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley and the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, all three of whom were convicted of heresy in 1555, and burned at the stake for their religious beliefs.
The Martyrs Memorial was designed by George Gilbert Scott in 1838 and building began in 1841, which took two years to complete. The Memorial served as the replacement for a 'picturesque but tottering old house'. The design of the memorial is very much Gothic, and has been compared to the steeple of a Cathedral in appearance. It is infact a common rumour that Oxford students often trick foreign tourists into believing that Martyrs Memorial is actually the spire of an underground church, resulting in the tourists following a flight of steps adjacent to the memorial, that actually leads to a block of public toilets.
The three statues of Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, that are placed within the monument, were designed by Henry Weekes, and unfortunately the Memorial became severely damaged during the 1900's, but the cities council and the Oxford Preservation Trust managed to raise enough funds, and in 2003 Martyrs Memorial was restored to its former glory. Today, it is a grade II listed monument.