No. 13: Castell & Son

13 Broad Street


No. 13 Broad Street dates from the late eighteenth century. It is Grade II listed (List Entry No. 1185319) and is owned by Oxford City Council.

At the time of the 1772 Survey of Oxford it was occupied by Mrs Wootton, together with the side passage, and its frontage measured as 6yd 2ft 6in.

Boxall’s Court / Yard / Passage used to run down the side of this shop, leading to six houses squeezed between Broad and Ship Streets: all of them were leased by Thomas Boxall in the 1840s and 1850s. From 1882 to 1902 it was known as Harwood’s Passage, but then reverted to its old name. The shoemakers at No. 14 next door were Boxall & Harwood. The passage was in use in the late 1990s, when the Boxall Buildings were occupied by Hunts Printers.



No. 13 has been occupied by the tailors Castell & Son since at least 1846, although they are now part of the Shepherd & Woodward group and the shop caters more for the tourist than the undergraduate.

The 1851 census shows George Castell living over No. 13 with his wife and four young children and one servant: he is described as a tailor employing two men and three boys. For more about George Castell, see the grave of his daughters Mary (Mrs Bellamy) and Sarah Maria.

At 1.30 in the morning on Friday 4 September 1857 there was a serious fire in the room under Castell's shop, where wood and shavings were kept. Alderman Sadler gave the family shelter, and John Marsh, the landlord of the North Star at No. 2, went to Mr Floyd's in the High Street to get the keys for the engine house at St Mary's Church, and with the assistance of the University Police got out the two engines. Williams the engineer sent his brother to the new waterworks at Hinksey to have the full power put on, and went to Carfax and to Market Street to turn the tanks on there too. Five fire engines arrived (one from the University Press, St John's College, and Mr Jones the builder, and two from the University). The fire extended westwards to the house of James Price the tailor next door (No. 12), and then to the adjoining houses of the tailor William Wallington (No. 11) and Mrs Bowell (No. 10). The house on the other side of Castell occupied by the boot maker John Harwood (No. 14) also ignited. The premises here at No. 13 and at No. 12 next door were totally destroyed. Full details are in Jackson's Oxford Journal of 5 September 1857, p. 6.

Castell moved temporarily into Ship Street, but reopened in his restored premises here on Monday 29 March 1858.

By the time of the 1881 census his second son, John, had succeeded him and was living here with his wife. The business must have greatly expanded, as he was described as employing 15 men, three “lads” and one woman.

Occupants of 13 Broad Street listed in directories


William Hitchings, Painter & Glazier


Castell & Son, Tailors & robe makers


Varsity Shop (Castell's)

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