53–54 Cornmarket Street: Barclays Bank

Barclays Bank, 54 Cornmarket.

The left-hand side of the present Barclays Bank (No. 54) was built in the 1860s as the Shakespeare Hotel, and in 1922 the right-hand side (No. 53) was built to match when the bank expanded.

The two shops that used to stand on this site were in the parish of St Martin's (Carfax) until that church was demolished in 1896, whereafter they were in the parish of St Martin's & All Saints until All Saints Church was deconsecrated in 1971. They are now in the parish of St Michael-at-the-Northgate.

The former shop at No. 53

The former shop at No. 53 on the right (north side) of the site was a small house with two gables, probably medieval, but remodelled in the early eighteenth century.

It was Hugh Eldrid's porcelain shop by 1857, but on 18 August 1866 he announced that “in consequence of the Clarendon Company requiring the Premises No. 53 Corn Market Street”, he had moved his business to Queen Street.

Although the Clarendon now started to give its address as 52 & 53 Cornmarket, part of the building appears to have been continued to be let as a shop.

F. O. Thompson advertised on 21 March 1870 that he had opened a glass, china, and earthenware shop at No. 53. In October 1872 he succeeded to the business of Catharine Hopkins, and transferred to her shop two doors up at No. 51.

On 12 July 1873 the cigar & snuff merchant Joseph Thomas Higgins advertised that he was at this shop; he also started to sell cricket gear. He went bankrupt, and on 26 February 1876 an auction of his entire stock in trade was advertised. He continued to trade here after his bankruptcy until at least 1880.

It was one of Francis Twining’s grocer’s shops from at least 1890 until it was demolished in the 1920s.

  • For a photograph and a drawing of 1918 showing the Twining Brothers' old shop at No. 53, attached to the Clarendon Hotel on the right and Phase 1 of the present bank at 54 on the left, see Michael L. Turner and David Vaisey, Oxford Shops and Shopping, p. 8, illustrations 10 and 11.

Flagon marked Park

The former shop at No. 54

In the nineteenth century the former shop on the left-hand (south) side of this site was occupied by wine & spirit merchants, who were subject to university wine licences.

Christopher Park was listed here in the 1850s, and by the time of the 1861 census the business was jointly run by him and William Park (who is likely to have been his brother). The shop was demolished in about 1866, so the flagon on the right, marked C & W PARK, must date from c.1860.

In the early hours of the morning on Sunday 20 September 1863 there was a great fire in Cornmarket. It started at the tailor's shop next door (No. 55) and spread northwards here to No. 54, which was left with only its walls standing and had to be rebuilt

By 1866 Christopher Park was running a wine & spirit shop at 134 High Street, while William Park was running the Roebuck Inn at 8–10 Cornmarket, opposite his former shop.

The Shakespeare Hotel at No. 54

No. 54 was rebuilt in Bath stone by Thomas Wyatt as the Shakespeare Hotel.

On 13 March 1869 E. Smith put a notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal to say he had come to an arrangement with Wyatt, who was discontinuing to run the hotel, to let all of the "splendid Rooms" at 54 Cornmarket Street as University lodgings, and added that there were Turkish baths on the premises, and good stabling with loose boxes and lock-up coach houses.

By 9 July 1870, when the following advertisement appeared in Jackson's Oxford Journal, Thomas Wyatt was dead. (He may be the architect Thomas Wyatt, late of the City of Oxford, who died at Brixton on 2 February 1870.)

SHAKESPEARE HOTEL, OXFORD. Important FREEHOLD PROPERTY, In the centre of Corn Market Street.

MR. JOHN FISHER has received instructions from the Representatives of the late Mr. Thos Wyatt to SELL by AUCTION, at the Committee Room, Town Hall, Oxford, on Tuesday the 2nd day of August, at Two o'clock in the afternoon,—This valuable PROPERTY, which was designed for and has been used as a first-class Hotel, having a frontage to the street of 30ft. by a depth of 167 feet, extending to Shoe-lane, with a right of way to New Inn Hall-street, fitted up with all modern and improved conveniences, and containing handsome entrance hall, spacious front shop, 5 large reception rooms, 15 sleeping apartments, 5 water closets, extensive cellarage, and domestic offices, together with Turkish and water baths.

All the rooms are lofty and well ventilated, and the principal rooms are decorated with great taste.

The Turkish baths comprise 2 cooling, tepid, and hot rooms, lavatory, &c., and are constructed so as to ensure perfect ventilation and economy in the consumption of fuel. The water bath rooms are fitted with enamelled baths and apparatus.

The whole has been recently built in the most substantial manner. The front elevation is of Bath stone, with large handsome bay windows, forming an important architectural feature. Early possession may be had.

The hotel failed to sell at the auction, and on 6 August 1870 it was advertised for sale or letting on lease by private contract.

An ironmonger called James Berridge then had the property for a matter of weeks, dying at the beginning of September at the age of 39. On 26 November 1870 all his stock-and-trade as well as a large quantity of wines and spirits were advertised “on the premises (late the Shakespeare Hotel)”.

The following advertisement appeared in Jackson's Oxford Journal of 8 June 1872:

TO be LET,—
The Upper Part of this commodious and tastefully decorated House, suitable either for lodgings or offices and residence, comprising 14 large and capitally-arranged sitting and bed rooms, together with good kitchen and other extensive offices in the basement.

The property finally sold at auction in December 1876. The following description appeared in Jackson's Oxford Journal of 18 November 1876:

Corn Market Street, Oxford

Important, extensive, and very valuable FREEHOLD PROPERTY, situate in the best part of the City of Oxford, being No. 54, Corn Market-street (formerly the “Shakespeare Hotel,” with the licence still retained), now partly occupied by Mr. G. N. Bartram; a further portion held by Mr. Charles Delling, the Proprietor of the well-known Turkish Baths; and the remainder recently in the occupation of the Oxford City Rifle Corps and the Oxford County Court, but now unoccupied;

TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, By JONAS PAXTON, SON, & CASTLE, At the Roebuck Hotel, Oxford, on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 1876, at Four for Five o'clock.

The Premises comprise a commanding front shop on the ground floor, 12 feet high, with a frontage of 22 feet, and 50 feet long, and with spacious cellar, coal vault, and w.c. in the basement, let on lease to Mr. Bartram at £110 per annum; the Turkish Baths, with cooling room, waiting room, two warm bath rooms, medicated bath room, sitting room, two bed rooms and plunge bath, with back entrance to the property, held under a yearly tenancy by Mr. Chas. Dolling, at £80 a year; a spacious entrance hall, with stone staircase (w.c. on landing), Registrar's room and office, Bailiff's room, 7 bed rooms, and 4 servants' apartments, with 3 cellars and 2 kitchens, recently tenanted by the Oxford City Rifle Corps and the Oxford County Courts, at 450 and £76 annually.

The whole of the Property was built by the late Mr. T. Wyatt in a most substantial manner, for his own occupation as an Hotel. The front to the street is entirely of stone, with handsome bay windows to all the rooms on the first and second floors, and the interior is elegantly and conveniently fitted up. The Land Tax has been redeemed, and the grates, bells, and ordinary fixtures will be included in the purchase.

A report on 23 December 1876 stated that Mr. A. Sotham bought the property at the auction for £6,800.

Barclays being built


The Bank

No. 54 Cornmarket Street to the left of the present bank first became a bank in 1878. Jackson's Oxford Journal of 12 October 1878 reported that the builder Mr Hobdell “has converted the premises sometime since occupied by Mr. Dolling, Corn Market-street, into a place of business for Messrs. Gillett, the bankers.”

The Clarendon Club met above the present building at No. 54 from 1882 until 1921, when Barclays Bank took over the premises.

The bank then rebuilt the shop on the right (No. 53) in the same style, doubling the size of their premises.


Right: Photograph of c.1922 showing the rebuilding of No. 53

Occupants of 53 and 54 Cornmarket Street listed in directories etc.

(White background indicates an earlier building on this site)


No. 54 (left) No. 53 (right)


T. Badcock
Seller of wine and brandy, and
Merchant & agent to the York &
London Fire & Life Offices

No listing


Nicholas Trafford
Eating House


Christopher Park
Wine & spirit merchant

This shop was burnt down in 1863

Martha Ashley
China & glass dealer


Hugh Eldrid
Porcelain depot (to 1866)


T. & C. Wyatt
Wine & spirit merchants
The Shakespeare Hotel

Part of Clarendon Hotel next door from 1866


University Lodgings & Turkish baths
C. Dolling, proprietor

George Bartram
Boot & shoe maker

F. O. Thompson
China & glass warehouse
(from March 1870 to October 1872)


Gillett & Co., Bankers
Managers: J. Roberts and W. Margetts

Oxford County Court
Charles Bishop, Registrar & High Bailiff,
and District Registrar of High Court of Justice

Joseph Higgins
Wholesale tobacconist & cigar importer
(from 1873)


Gillett & Co., Bankers

District Registry of High Court of Justice
County Court Office
South of England Telephone Co.

The Clarendon Club

Francis Twining
Grocer & provision merchant


Gillett & Co., Bankers + The Clarendon Club


Barclays Bank Ltd + The Clarendon Club


No. 53 on the right was rebuilt in stone to match No. 54 on the left,
and they were combined and numbered simply 54


Barclays Bank

(with Clarendon Club upstairs until 1967)

53–54 Cornmarket Street in the censuses


William Badcock (25) and George Badcock (20), both wine merchants, lived here with Thomas Badcock (50) and Sarah (50) and Ann, plus an independent lady with three young children, and three female servants.


No. 53: The unmarried wine merchant Christopher Park (29) lived here with his brother William Park (22) and his sisters Caroline (27) and Mary (25). Also living over the shop were an assistant, a barmaid, and a female general servant.

No. 54: The unmarried china & glass dealer Martha Ashley (26) lived over her shop with one female servant.


No. 53: Not listed.

No. 54: As the two wine merchant brothers from 1861 now comprised two households, one of them may have been living over No. 53. One household comprised of Christopher Park (39), his wife Julia (38), and his children Ada (6), Edith (5), and Charles (3) plus a female servant; the other was William Park (31), his wife Louisa (29), and his daughter Charlotte (4). A barmaid also lived with them, and they had one servant.


No. 53: Listed as uninhabited.

No. 54: This building was now occupied by Turkish Baths, but only a housekeeper and a messenger boy spent census night here.


No. 53: Joseph T. Higgins (27), tobacconist, and his wife Kate (20) are listed here

No. 54: William Seary (29) and his brother Philip (24), both confectioners, lived here, presumably over Gillett's Bank. They had one female general servant, and a surgeon, Thomas F. Tyerman, was lodging with them.


No 53: Listed as uninhabited: probably part of the Twining's shop below.

No. 54:
Clarendon Club: Robert Walton (35), the Steward of the Clarendon Club, lived here at the club with his wife Emma (34), who was the stewardess, and his son Arthur (12) and niece Portia (10).
Gillett & Co. Bank: Frederick Sheldon (34), a bank clerk, occupied part of these premises, but the head of the household upstairs is given as George Smith (63), a college servant who lived here with his wife Susannah (62), who was a housekeeper, and their children Louisa (25), who assisted her mother, and son Henry (17), who was a college servant.


No. 53: No listing: probably part of the Twining's shop below.

No. 54:
Clarendon Club: Louis Duke (28), the Steward of the club, lived here with his wife Mary (30) and his son Louis (2). They had one boarder and one servant.
Gillett & Co Bank: Stephen Phipps (65), a college servant, lived here with his wife Lucy (64) and daughter Alice (29), who was a dressmaker. A bank clerk boarded with them.


No. 53: No listing: : probably part of the Twining's shop below.

No. 54:
Clarendon Club: Thomas Murray (32), a club steward, lived in the club's ten rooms with his wife Ethel (30) and a boarder.
Gillett & Co Bank
: Sidney William Goodman (55), a bank clerk, lived alone in two rooms over the bank,

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