Carfax Tower is the only remnant of the old city church of St. Martin, demolished in 1896 to improve the traffic flow at what was a very important road junction. The pedestrianisation of Cornmarket Street and Queen Street in the late 1990s greatly reduced the significance of Carfax as a "meeting of ways" (whilst greatly reducing its chances of being destroyed by air pollution). After the demolition of the church the Tower was repaired and restored, and a fine view over the city may be obtained from the top. The two figures beneath the clock still strike the quarter hours. A display of the history of the tower is to be found on the second floor.
Cornmarket Street and Queen Street are linked by The Clarendon Centre, a shopping arcade built in part on the site of what was a large branch of Woolworth's. When this store was first constructed, W.H. Auden wrote: "The Clarendon's gone - I regret her; the George is gone and forgot; some changes are all for the better; but Woolworth's is probably not."
R.I.P. Woolworth's, which closed its doors to its last customers on 28 Dec 2008, having succumbed to the worldwide recession.
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