2 Cornmarket Street: Pret à Manger

2 Cornmarket

Davis's shop at 2 Cornmarket



This building was in the parish of St Martin's (Carfax) until that church was demolished in 1896, whereafter it was in the parish of St Martin's & All Saints until All Saints Church was deconsecrated in 1971. It is now in the parish of St Michael-at-the-Northgate.

There appear to have been two shops on this site until 1852, and so it is possible the present building dates from the mid-1850s although some original parts may survived. It is not listed.

The publisher A. R. Mowbray had his shop here in the late 1850s and 1860s.


From 1890 this was the fancy goods shop of George Davis. He died here at the age of 52 on 4 May 1891, but until 1911 his wife continued to run the business, which produced many postcards of the City of Oxford, including the “Americans in Oxford” cartoon series.


Then in c.1912 the hatter Frederick Margetts moved here from No. 12, and the business was still here in 1958.




Right: Details from a postcard showing this shop and the No. 3 to the north in about 1905. The name DAVIS'S can be seen over the front.


Another view of Davis's shop in c.1900 can be seen here.

Occupants of 2 Cornmarket Street listed in directories etc.


Henry Reynolds

George Thompson
Fishmonger (was at these premises
from at least 1835 to 1844)


Pattenden's, Draper

William Denyer


William & Charles Wells, Jewellers


Abraham Zacharias
Silversmith, jeweller, and watch & clock maker

Possibly rebuilt in this period?


A. R. Mowbray, Photographer, bookseller etc


Richard E. Farrant, Brush & comb maker, fancy repository, and sponge importer


George Davis, Fancy repository/Fancy Stores


Frederick A. Margetts, Hatter


Watches of Switzerland Ltd (photograph)


Pret à Manger

2 Cornmarket Street in the censuses


(probably) Henry Reynolds (35), described as a hair cutter, lived here with Emma (25), Henry (7), and Emma (3).


Described as “uninhabited”. (The jeweller Abraham Zacharias who then had this shop was living in Paradise Square.)


Alfred R. Mowbray (36), photographer, bookseller, and stationer, lived here over his shop with his wife Susan (31) and their children Alfred (11), Samuel (10), Florence (4), and Gertrude (2): only the youngest daughter was born in Oxford, suggesting that they moved here in about 1859. They had no servants


Richard Farrant (65), carpenter & cabinet maker, lived here with his wife Hannah (65) and their unmarried daughters Harriet (30) and Eliza (28), who looked after the brush and fancy repository downstairs.


Richard Farrant (75), a retired cabinet maker, was still living here with his unmarried daughter Harriett (39) who was now the shop manager and the employer of one assistant and one boy. They had one female servant.


George Davis (52), a fancy warehouseman, lived here over his shop with his wife Matilda (58) and their son George (21), who was an assistant in the shop. They had a sick nurse in residence for George Davis senior, who would be dead within a month, and a domestic servant.


Matilda Davis (68), a widowed fancy goods shopkeeper, lived here with one servant.


No listing.

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