Oxford History: The High

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Magdalen College School former building


Old Grammar Hall

Magdalen College School was on the site of Magdalen College itself from 1480 until it acquired its present site between Cowley Place and the Iffley Road in 1928.

Its original building was the grammar hall, pictured left; in 1828 it moved to the disused buildings of Hertford College; and in 1851 it moved into a new schoolroom that is now the college library.

In the middle of the nineteenth century the boarders moved into the Georgian house now numbered 58–59 High Street.

The report of the Schools Inquiry Commission which visited in 1866 reads:

The buildings have been much enlarged and improved of late. The schoolroom is the well known building which stands at the east angle formed by Long Wall Street and the High Street. It is a fine structure, … but unfortunately it has no classroom, which is a serious drawback to any school. The playground (which is only moderate) extends back along the east side of Long Wall Street, and the north side of the school. All the remainder of the buildings, including the master’s house, dormitories, infirmary, chapel, &c., are on the other side of Long Wall Street, in the west angle formed by that street and High Street. Standing on such a site they are, of course, somewhat cramped for room; but except for this defect, and that they are divided down the middle by Long Wall Street, which is a serious inconvenience and must be an injury to discipline, the premises are fairly satisfactory.

The boarders left the High Street in 1894 when a new boarding house, again intended for the Master as well as the boys, was built on the other side of the road on the west side of Cowley Place.

As can be seen from the 1881 census below, everyone (except the day-boys) lived in this building, from the Master of the School (Harmer Ogle) down to the school’s matron, the 76-year-old cook, and a 13-year-old boy servant.

Magdalen College School, Oxford
Occupants of boarding house at 58/59 High Street at time of April 1881 census

Name

Rel.

Marital
Status

Age

Sex

Occupation

Place of birth

Harmer C. OGLE

Head

Unmarried

38

M

Clergyman without cure & Fellow of Magdalen College

Orpington, Kent

Helen P. OGLE

Sister

Unmarried

36

F

Twickenham, Middlesex

Camilla C. OGLE

Sister

Unmarried

35

F

Twickenham, Middlesex

Eric Richard WARD

Boarder

Unmarried

18

M

Scholar

Bristol, Glos

Raymond Cooper BAKER

Boarder

Unmarried

17

M

Scholar

Edgbaston, Warks

L. Evan PARKHURST

Boarder

Unmarried

16

M

Scholar

Pontymont?, Mon.

H. A. E. SAWYER

Boarder

Unmarried

16

M

Scholar

Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Henry S. ALNUTT

Boarder

Unmarried

17

M

Scholar

Beaconsfield, Bucks

A. R. T. EALES

Boarder

Unmarried

16

M

Scholar

London

A. F. B. SNEATON

Boarder

Unmarried

17

M

Scholar

Hannington, Wiltshire

R. G. W. SNEATON

Boarder

Unmarried

16

M

Scholar

Hannington, Wiltshire

William KIRKBY

Boarder

Unmarried

17

M

Scholar

London

H. C. STEWART

Boarder

Unmarried

13

M

Chorister Mag. Coll (Ch. Serv.)

London

E. G. MacKIE

Boarder

Unmarried

14

M

Chorister Mag. Coll (Ch. Serv.)

Eastan, Glos.

E. O. DAVIES

Boarder

Unmarried

16

M

Scholar

Dolgellau, Merioneth

J. V. L. THOMPSON

Boarder

Unmarried

15

M

Chorister Mag. Coll (Ch. Serv.)

Recar, Yorkshire

E. E. WILKINSON

Boarder

Unmarried

14

M

Chorister Mag. Coll (Ch. Serv.)

London

Harris WAIN

Boarder

Unmarried

14

M

Chorister Mag. Coll (Ch. Serv.)

Brynmawr, Brecknock

Harry FOOTNER

Boarder

Unmarried

15

M

Scholar

Andover, Hampshire

C. F. W DANN

Boarder

Unmarried

15

M

Scholar

Wednesbury, Staffs

H. R. NUTTALL

Boarder

Unmarried

13

M

Chorister Mag. Coll (Ch. Serv.)

Sherborne, Oxfordshire

B. K. WILSON

Boarder

Unmarried

12

M

Chorister Mag. Coll (Ch. Serv.)

Fulton, Norfolk

H. G. PHILPOTT

Boarder

Unmarried

14

M

Chorister Mag. Coll (Ch. Serv.)

Chewton Mendip, Somerset

Howan GREEN

Boarder

Unmarried

14

M

Chorister Mag. Coll (Ch. Serv.)

Weare, Somerset

C. A. CURGENBER

Boarder

Unmarried

12

M

Chorister Mag. Coll (Ch. Serv.)

Lyme Regis, Dorset

C. R. A. NEWBY

Boarder

Unmarried

13

M

Chorister Mag. Coll.

Mears Ashby, Northants

H. D. BAKER

Boarder

Unmarried

13

M

Chorister Mag. Coll.

Canada

V. A. L. PASEAU

Boarder

Unmarried

13

M

Scholar

London

A. C. DYNEHAM

Boarder

Unmarried

13

M

Chorister Mag. Coll.

Exeter, Devon

H. M. RAE

Boarder

Unmarried

12

M

Chorister Mag. Coll.

Cheltenham, Glos

Gilbert DRAGE

Boarder

Unmarried

10

M

Chorister Mag. Coll.

India

F. W. BIDWELL

Boarder

Unmarried

9

M

Chorister Mag. Coll.

Brinkley, Cambs

A. C. E. SKEY

Boarder

Unmarried

10

M

Chorister Mag. Coll.

Bristol, Glos

E. LISTER

Boarder

Unmarried

12

M

Scholar

Redcar, Yorkshire

C. F. STEELE

Boarder

Unmarried

9

M

Chorister Mag. Coll.

Clifton, Somerset

R. J. FORTNER

Boarder

Unmarried

9

M

Chorister Mag. Coll.

Andover, Hants

Isabella DANIEL

Servant

Unmarried

38

F

School Matron

Tolland, ?Cornwall

E. PAICE

Servant

Widow

76

F

School Cook

Newport, Shropshire

E. BUTLER

Servant

Unmarried

26

F

School Housemaid

Wolverhampton, Staffs

E. T. COAKES

Servant

Unmarried

23

F

School Housemaid

Ramsbury, Wiltshire

E. A. GREEN

Servant

Unmarried

18

F

School Housemaid

Garsington, Oxon

Caroline ROBERTS

Servant

Unmarried

17

F

School Kitchenmaid

Oxford

Frank SHIPPORTOW

Servant

Unmarried

13

M

Domestic Servant

Oxford

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 29 June, 2018

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