Oxford History: The High


65: Stanford House

65: Stanford House

This is the fourth 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.

This house is individually Grade II listed (List Entry No. 1115465). It was in St Peter-in-the East parish until that parish was united with St Cross parish in 1957.

Since 1984, Stanford University in California has leased 65 and 66 High Street from Magdalen College to accommodate about fifty of their students who are able to pursue part of their course in Oxford. The main front entrance is here at No. 65, but Stanford extends considerably in both directions on the upper floor of other Magdalen houses: to the east, it occupies the upper floor of Nos. 62–64; and to the west it spreads over six former houses (four shops) at 65–70 High Street, only stopping when it reaches the Eastgate Hotel.

The Survey of Oxford was taken in 1772 before this house was rebuilt, and according to H. E. Salter the house that was on this site was then occupied by a Mrs Anderson and had a frontage of 7 yds 0 ft 3 in.

In 1841 No. 65 was occupied by John Hill, a clerk in holy orders, his wife Sophia, and their five children, plus two femial servants. In 1851 Hill (64) was a widower, and now described as the Vice-Principal & Tutor of St Edmund Hall as well as the Perpetual Curate of Hampton Gay, he lived here with his unmarried daughter, a cook, and a housemaid.

In 1861 this house was occupied by Elizabeth Pilcher, a fundholder of 78, and her cook.

By 1863 it was occupied by the Revd Henry Joseph Turrill and his wife, and their three sons were born here in 1863, 1865, 1866. He opened Turrell’s Hall here near the beginning of 1881, but around the end of that year it moved into larger premises at “The Willows” (on the site of the present Magdalen College School building facing Cherwell Place that replaced it in 1894).

On 5 November 1881 the following preliminary notice appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal advertising an auction to be held at the Mitre Hotel on 29 November:

The valuable FREEHOLD DWELLING HOUSE, No. 65, High-street, Oxford, lately known as "Turrell’s Hall," containing three large reception rooms, eight good bed rooms, and usual domestic offices, with a large Garden at the back 60 feet wide: the House has a frontage of 20 feet to High-street, and the Ground extends to a depth of 180 feet.

By 1884 No. 65  was used for university lodgings, run by a widow, Mrs Sarah Reeves. At the time of the 1891 census she was living here with her son and daughter.

In 1911 Miss Ethel Helen Davis (42) ran a university lodging house in the 14 rooms here, aided by her married sister Selina Griffith. In 1914 Selina's husband Herbert Griffith was listed as a masseur here. For more about this family, see the page about Herbert Griffith, on the St Peter-in-the-East war memorial website.

People who have occupied 65 High Street


Revd John Hill, BD


Mrs Elizabeth Pilcher


Revd. Henry Joseph Turrill, B.D.


Mrs Reeves
University Lodgings


Joseph Shillingford
University Lodgings


George James Cooper
Lodging House


Miss Ethel Helen Davis
University Lodging House

plus Herbert Griffith
masseur 1912–1915
(nephew of Miss Davis;
died in the First World War)

plus Lionel Palliser Costobadie
in 1923


Mrs H. D. Moseley, SRN
University Lodging House


Miss E. E. Mordaunt
University Lodging House


Part of Stanford House

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 3 January, 2021

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