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66: Part of Stanford House / 67–68: High Street Café


66, 67, & 68 High Street

These are the fifth, sixth, and seventh 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.

Nos. 66, 67 & 68 are jointly Grade II listed (List Entry No. 1047289). They were in St Peter-in-the East parish until that parish was united with St Cross parish in 1957.

No. 66 was university lodgings since at least the 1840s. Since 1984, Stanford University in California has leased it with No. 65 and the upstairs of the adjoining houses for their students.

No. 67 has been united with No. 68 at ground-floor level as a shop since at least the 1850s.

At the time of the Survey of Oxford in 1772 the former house on the site of No. 66 was (according to H. E. Salter) occupied by a Mr Kensal (frontage 6 yards 0 ft 8in); the former No. 67 by a Mrs Howel (frontage 6 yd 0 ft 0 in), and the former No. 68 by a Mr Barnet (frontage 5 yd 1 ft 3 in).

Photograph showing this group of shops in 1949


No. 66

At the time of the 1841 census the college servant William Cattle lived here with his wife and two children and their three lodgers and a servant.

In 1851 (conflicting with the directories) the census shows James P. Shepperd, Clerk of Magdalen College, living at No. 66 with his son William (a cook) and daughter, and a housekeeper.

On 7 July 1855 the death at this house of Charles Castle (47), a tobacconist, was announced in Jackson's Oxford Journal.

In 1861 Mrs Arabella Castle lived here with her daughter and one servant, plus a lodger.

In 1871 the bank clerk William Harris lived here with his family.

In 1881, No. 66 was occupied by a 33-year-old male cook called Hill and his wife and daughter.

Advertisement to let

By 1891 No. 66 also had become a lodging house, kept by the widow Mrs Caroline Bennett, who lived here with her three children.

In 1911 Mrs Bennet (66) was still running a university lodging house in the nine rooms here with the help of one servant

The advertisement on the left, which dates from the 1950s, shows how university lodgings became guest houses in the vacation


Nos. 67 & 68

The present shop at No. 67–68 awkwardly straddles two buildings: on the left, it cuts into the last, maroon-coloured house of a Georgian terrace; on the right it occupies a tall black-and-white building. This unlikely looking pair was already a single shop by 1846, but the upstairs premises were separately occupied..

No. 67: By 1839 this shop was occupied John Hounslow, grocer and wine & spirit merchant. At the time of the 1841 census he lived here over his shop with his son and daughter and a female servant.

No. 68: By 1839 this shop was occupied by the gun-maker Richard Brown, but on 5 February 1842 the following auction notice appeared in Jackson's Oxford Journal:

All those valuable FREEHOLD PREMISES, situate in the High-Street, Oxford, in the occupation of the proprietor, Richard Brown, and his under-tenants; consisting of a Dwelling House and Shop, fronting the street, wherein the business of a gun-maker has been carried on for nearly a century, and of Two Tenements and a Workshop, with good sized Yard at the back thereof. The only out-going is a Land Tax of 1l. 10s.

It was probably at this point that John Hounslow expanded into the adjacent shop. At the time of the 1851 census he was still living over No. 67 and was now described as a grocer as well as wine merchant, with his wife and daughter, plus an apprentice and servant. Living over No. 68 was a shoemaker called Samuel Hounslow (probably his brother) together with his wife and four children. Hounslow was described as “the Radical grocer in High Street” by William Tuckwell in his Reminiscences of Oxford, and is recorded as giving this advice on sermons in Oxford: “’Obhouse and ’Ansell are below par; go to ’Olywell and ’ear Goulburn.”

On 30 January 1858 the “valuable freehold house with shop and yard” at 67 High Street was advertised for sale thus in Jackson's Oxford Journal:

The House comprises a good shop, two sitting rooms, five bed rooms, kitchen, scullery, and extensive cellarage, used as wine vaults. At the back is a good outlet.

In 1859 James Jenkin, who ran a private school in Holywell, married John Hounslow’s daughter Caroline.

The 1861 census shows that John Hounslow (66) was then still the grocer & wine merchant in the shop at Nos. 67 & 68. He lived upstairs at No. 67 with his wife Anne and their housemaid, while his son-in-law James Jenkin (33), who was still working as a schoolmaster, was living over No. 68 with his wife Caroline and their servant.

By 1867 his son-in-law James Jenkin had become the grocer and wine merchant at this shop. John Hounslow died at 67 High Street at the age of 76 on 31 March 1871.

James Jenkin must have moved quickly into the premises above No. 67, as the 1871 census shows him living there with his wife, four children, half-brother, nephew, and two servants and described himself as a grocer employing three men and one boy, while the newly widowed Ann Hounslow lived alone upstairs at No. 68 with two servants.

At the time of the 1881 census James Jenkin the premises above No. 67 were described as unoccupied, while James Jenkins lived over No. 68 together with his wife, five children, his half-brother (described as a grocer’s assistant), and a general servant. He was elected Mayor of Oxford later that year.

By 1891 the printer Cyril Vincent lived over No. 67 with his five children and their servant. He too was to become Mayor of Oxford, but not until 1915, while James Jenkin (62) still lived over No. 68 with his wife and two children, plus their 16-year-old servant girl.

When Jenkin died in 1898, his wife and his only son, Herbert Jenkin, took over from him, and the latter remained in business until 1923. The postcard below probably dates from the early 1900s.

J. Jenkin, grocer

In 1911 the widow Laurina Emily Penny and her daughter kept a university lodging house in the nine rooms above No. 67, while Caroline Jenkin (77) and her four unmarried children, including Herbert Jenkin (46), who now managed the shop for her occupied the eight rooms above No. 68. Caroline died over this shop on 9 January 1912, and by 1914 her son had changed the shop's name from James Jenkin to Herbert Jenkin.

The shop continued to be occupied by a wine merchant’s business until 1962. The photograph below comes from a promotional booklet of photographs produced by W. H. Ryder & Son (Reading) Ltd, Architectural Woodmasters. As well as much work for churches, banks, and breweries they did shopfitting, and included in their list of clients Courage, which had taken over H. & G. Simonds. Their shopfront remains in place today, with the door on the right that led upstairs changed to a third narrow but matching window.

Arthur Cooper Photograph kindly supplied by Anthony Guy

The large warehouse behind No. 68 has been converted into the Stanford House Library.

The photograph below shows No. 66 and 67 from the back in 2015.

66 & 67 from the back

People who have occupied 66, 67, & 68 High Street

Date

No.  66 

No. 67

No. 68

1839

?

John Hounslow
Grocer & Wine
& spirit merchant

Richard Brown
Gunmaker

1846

William Cattle
Manciple of Magdalen College (1846–1851)

1851–1861

Charles Castle, Tobacconist (1855)
Mrs Castle (1861)
Miss Castle (1875–1876)

J. Hounslow
Grocer and wine & spirit merchant

1867–1876

James Jenkin
Grocer & wine merchant
(1867–1913)

Herbert Jenkin
Grocer & wine merchant
(1914–1923)

 

 

Over No. 67:
E. W. Glanville,
Coal merchant (1874–5)
and Central News Telegraphic
Agency (1889–1899)

1880–1884

R. Hills

1887–1890

Charles Sanders
University lodgings

1891–1893

Henry Carr
University Lodgings

1894–1913

Mrs Caroline Bennett
University Lodgings

1914–1923

Mrs Bowler
University Lodging House

1924–1932

Charles Palfrey
University Lodging House

H. & G. Simonds Ltd
Brewers

1934–1940

William Soper
University Lodging House

1941–1945

Francis Thomas Jones
Solicitor

1947–1949

William Soper

1952–1954

1956–1962

Arthur Cooper
Wine merchant
Upstairs:
H. & G. Simonds Ltd, Brewers

1964

Hugh Hall Business
Equipment Centres Ltd

1966–1969

Central Guest House

1970

(no listing)

1972–1976+

Caron Records (1972–1975)

Upstairs: Athena Reproductions

1984

Part of Stanford House

?
(Stanford House upstairs henceforth)

By 1996–2007

Narda Fashion Studios

2008–2010

Vacant

2010

Café Crème

2011–2013

Oxford Rendezvous

2014–2015

Vacant

2015–present

High Street Café

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 26 October, 2021

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