CORNMARKET, OXFORD

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5 Cornmarket (former Golden Cross Inn)


Entrance to Golden Cross yard

Pizza Express
Above: the former Golden Cross Inn in February 2009

Golden Cross
Above: The east range (which dates from the nineteenth century) in 1907

Golden Cross west
Above: Inside the entrance to the Golden Cross in the 1930s

Golden Cross in 1930s
Above: The south range (which was rebuilt in the late 17th century) in the early 1930s

The Golden Cross was also known as the Cross Inn. Numbered 5 Cornmarket, it is well set back from the street with its own courtyard. It survived as the Golden Cross Hotel/Restaurant until the 1980s. In 1986/7 this area was altered, creating Golden Cross Way, with 13 new shops and a restaurant and a bar.

The old inn itself is now a pizza restaurant, and is Grade I listed. Nothing today remains of the original twelfth-century inn. The courtyard today is approached by a fifteenth-century gateway, and the north range is also fifteenth century. The south range is seventeenth century.

In the censuses

1841

The innkeeper at the Golden Cross is William Holland (25), and living with him is Anne Holland (15), who is probably his sister. There are nine resident servants (three male and six female). Staying at the hotel are three commercial travellers, a seedsman, and three other guests.

1851

William Holland (35) is still here, this time with his brother George (34): each is described as “Innkeeper & wine merchant”. Both were born in Oxford, which makes it likely that they are the sons of the William Holland who was innkeeper until at least 1830. They have ten servants (a housekeeper, two upper chambermaids, a waitress, a kitchen maid, and ostler, a cook, and upper and under porter, and an errand boy). Staying at the inn are five commercial travellers and two wine and spirit merchants.

1861

William J. Holland (45) and his brother George (44) are still at the inn, and they are described respectively as Innkeeper and Assistant Innkeeper. They have nine resident servants, but on census night there were only two guests: a wine merchant and a wine merchant’s traveller.

1881

The inn is now described as the “Golden Cross Hotel”, and the hotel keeper is Mrs Emma Franklin, a widow of 54, who lived here with her 19-year-old son Henry, an ironmonger’s apprentice, and nine servants (a barmaid, a waiter, a waitress, a head chambermaid, an under chambermaid, a housemaid, a kitchenmaid, and a head and under boots). There were four guests on census night, all commercial travellers.

Occupants of 5 Cornmarket in censuses and directories

To 1986

Golden Cross Inn

Innkeepers (subject to 19C university wine licence):

Thomas Greenwood (1794)
W. Seward (1823);
William Holland (1830); Mrs Holland (1835); A. A. Holland (1839)
Ann Holland (1842); William John Holland (1845–1872)
Mrs Emma Franklin (1880–1890)
Miss L. J. Higgs, manageress (1899–1901)
Mrs Clara Ball (1911–1928)
Miss R. Munro, manageress (1932–1947)
Miss M. L. Hayward, manageress (1952–1962)

By 1995–
present

Pizza Express

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© Stephanie Jenkins

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