No. 7: Watsons of Oxford

Watsons, 3 Broad Street


No. 7 is the right-hand half of a building dating from around 1800. It is jointly Grade II listed with No. 8 next door (List Entry No. 1185307), and is owned by Oxford City Council.

At the time of the 1772 Survey of Oxford Nos. 7 & 8 were occupied by a Mr Clement, and their combined frontage measured 11yd 2ft 6in.

The area behind this shop was a market garden from at least 1830 to 1846, belonging to the nurseryman T. Fairbairn, described in 1839 as “late Gardener to their Royal Highnesses, the Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold”.

No one is listing as living at No. 7 at the time of the 1851 census: it appears that the upper floors were added to No. 6 next door to the left.

From 1861 to 1871 it was the county court office, wedged between two firms of solicitors, and then from 1872 to 1893 it was itself a solicitor's office. .

On 25 June 1887 Mallam's inserted the following advertisement in Jackson's Oxford Journal for the sale by auction of 6 and 7 Broad Street:

Very valuable long-leasehold property comprising a large and convenient PRIVATE RESIDENCE, exceedingly well-built and arranged, and in the best possible order and repair, with Garden, Conservatory, &c., in the occupation of Mr. William Baker; also TWO SETS of commodious OFFICES, in the occupation of Mr. Arthur E. Ward and Mr. J. Drakeford, situated and being 6 and 7, Broad-street, Oxford.

Nos. 6 and 7, BROAD STREET.—No. 6 contains extensive cellarage, kitchen, scullery, larder, pantry, etc., in the basement; entrance hall, large dining room and morning room, with charming conservatory, on the ground floor; a large and lofty drawing room, lighted by three windows, bed room, and w.c., on the first floor; two bed rooms, bath room, and dressing room, on the second floor: and two large attics over; also two good bed rooms and an attic over the offices adjoining. The Garden is nicely laid out at the back of the two houses. No. 7, Broad-street was formerly part of the above premises, but the communication is now cut off. There are capital cellars throughout the basement, two convenient and well lighted offices on the ground floor, and two large ditto above the rest of the house, being part of No. 6.

The Property is one of the most central and desirable positions in the City of Oxford, immediately opposite Balliol College, and within a few steps of the principal streets of the City. It is held by Lease under the City of Oxford for a term of 40 years from 29th Sept. 1879, at a yearly rental of $4 7s. 6d. and 8d. acquittances by equal portions on 25th March and 29th September, and also two couple of good fat capons or 3s. in money on 29th September.

Since 1909 it has been a retail shop.

Occupants of 7 Broad Street listed in directories


County Court Office


Solicitors Office
1872–1876: R.S. Hawkins
1880–1889: Arthur Ernest Ward
1890–1: Hawkins, Ward & Higgs
1893: Arthur Ernest Ward


Williams & Norgate
Publishers & Booksellers


Harold Williams
Auctioneer & estate agent


1909–1924: Miss A. K. Baughan
1915–1916: Miss Mary Ashley
1919–1922: Miss Germaine Guy
1923–1939: Mireille (latterly Dressmaker)


Edith Pearce, Gowns


Alex Chevalier Ltd, Costumiers




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