Oxford History: The High


No. 63: Magdalen College house

63 High Street

This is the second in the terrace of eleven houses and shops belonging to Magdalen College that is attached to the back of Magdalen Gate house. This terrace was rebuilt subsequent to the widening of Magdalen Bridge that took place in 1772–8.

It is Grade II listed (list entry 1047288). It was in St Peter-in-the East parish until that parish was united with St Cross parish in 1957.

The Survey of Oxford was taken in 1772 before this house was rebuilt, and according to H. E. Salter the house that was approximately on this site was then occupied by a Mr Grubb and had a frontage of 6 yds 0 ft 6 in.

At the time of the 1841 census this house appears to have been occupied by the solicitor John Marriott Davenport and his wife and baby, plus six servants.

On 1 September 1849 Norman Spencer, surgeon dentist, announced in Jackson's Oxford Journal that he had moved here from 11 Cornmarket Street. The 1851 census shows No. 63 occupied by Norman Spencer and his brother Edwin, who was also a dentist, plus a servant, and two lodgers (an MA of Pembroke College and his wife). Spencer died in 1852, and the business was taken over by Henry James Virgin.

Henry Virgin can be seen living at 63 High Street with his family and servants in the 1861 and 1871 censuses.

In 1881 R. Horsley, a musician, lived here with his wife, three young children, sister-in-law, and a domestic servant. He was still here in 1891 with his wife and his son Hubert (15), who was an architect's pupil, and Reginald (12), plus a servant.

In 1911 the widow Mrs Anne Oborne (82) occupied the twelve rooms in this house and her unmarried daughter Frances Oborne (43) ran a university lodging house here with the help of one servant.

People who have occupied 63 High Street


Thomas Laing


Stanley Stokes, Surgeon dentist


Norman Spencer, Surgeon dentist


Henry. James Virgin, Surgeon dentist


Richard Horsley, Teacher of singing & University Lodgings


University lodging house


No listing: probably being converted into five flats


Flat 1: William Inker
Flat 2: Colin Graham Hardie, M.A., Fellow & Tutor in Classics, Magdalen College
Flat 3: Irfon Roberts
Flat 4: Revd Patrick John Thompson, Fellow & Dean of Divinity, Magdalen College
Flat 5: Kenneth Tite, M.A., Fellow & Tutor in Politics, Magdalen College


The flats are occupied by numerous different tenants.
In 1968 the five flats become six, and are renumbered with letters


63A: Jonathan Barnes
63B: Vacant
63C: Christopher J. Wells
63D: Colin G. Hardie, MA
63E: Emrys L. Jones, MA
63F: Edward P. Greene


Magdalen College lodgings

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 26 June, 2021

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