Oxford History: The High


84: The Grand Café

No. 84

84 High Street when Cooper's


No. 84 is a Grade II listed building (List Entry No. 1047292), belonging to University College. It was in St Peter-in-the East parish until that parish was united with St Cross parish in 1957.


The1772 Survey of Oxford shows two people living at No. 84, sharing one entrance: Mr Sadler with a frontage of 3 yards 1 ft 9 in., and Mr Dickinson with a frontage of 4 yards 1 ft 4 in.


From 1813 the building was leased from the college by the landlord of the Angel Inn, and in the following ten years or so it was rebuilt with bedrooms and sitting-rooms upstairs, and a pillared coffee-room occupying the whole of the ground floor.



Right: Detail of a painting by William Matthison, showing when Nos. 83 and 84 were Cooper’s marmalade shop in c.1905.



Nos. 83 and 84 (on the right in the engraving below) have no front entrances in 1820, as they were approached internally from the inn, and not from the street.

Angel Hotel

In 1855 Samuel Young Griffith had put the declining Angel Inn up for sale, and while no buyer came forward for the main building, the grocer Francis Thomas Cooper (1811–1862) (who until then had a grocer’s shop across the road at 46 High Street) paid £2,350 for the residue of a forty-year lease on the Angel Coffee Room at Nos. 83 and 84. He let out No. 83, and used 84 as his shop with living accommodation upstairs, and in the 1861 census was listed here, as a widower with four children, and described as a tea dealer, while his visiting brother, Henry, is described as a tea merchant. Also living over the shop were Francis’s widowed sister (who was his shop assistant), and his niece (who was his housekeeper), and six servants.

In 1861 the accommodation above No. 84 was occupied by Walter Faulkes, a lodging-house keeper.

Francis Thomas Cooper's son Frank Cooper (1844–1927) inherited the family business in 1867 and expanded into the shop next door at No. 83, and from 1867 until the 1950s Nos. 83 and 84 formed a single shop.

Frank Cooper advertisement

In 1874 Mrs Sarah Cooper, then aged 24, made 76 lb of marmalade to her secret recipe, and sold what the family could not eat, and Oxford Marmalade was born.

There is no mention of Oxford Marmalade, however in this Frank Cooper advertisement from Harrod’s Directory of 1876 (left).


Mrs Cooper’s marmalade grew so popular that in 1900 the marmalade factory of Frank Cooper Ltd opened in the Victoria Buildings in Park End Street. (The business moved to the Botley Road in 1947, and away from Oxford in 1967.) Frank Cooper’s shop remained at No. 84 until 1919.

In 1911 Harry Jones (51), who was unmarried, ran a boarding house in the 23 rooms over 83 & 84 High Street with the help of two servants.

Nos. 83 & 84 were taken over by Twining Brothers, Grocers in 1919, and then was a Co-op and a Post Office.

In 1987, when the post office here was closed down, Frank Cooper Ltd took the shop over again and sold marmalade here as well as housing a small museum, but it only survived for a few years. The English Teddy Bear Company had an equally short life, and then the Grand Café opened in the mid-1990s.

In the early 1970s, a transfer of property between The Queen’s College and University College brought No. 85 under the same ownership as its neighbours to the east and the upper floors of Nos. 83–85 were made into a single unit, which has been occupied by students of University College since that date.

Photograph of No. 49 in 1949, when it was part of a café

Occupiers of 84 High Street

1839, 1846, 1852

Angel Hotel (Samuel Young Griffith)


Francis Cooper and his aon Frank Cooper (jointly with No. 83 from 1869)

1856–1867: F. T. Cooper, Italian warehouse & winemerchant [Executors of F. T. Cooper in 1867]
1869–1872: F. T. Cooper, Italian warehouse & winemerchant
1875–1876: F. & A. Cooper, Italian warehousemen, grocers, wine & spirit merchants
1880–1919: Frank Cooper, Italian warehouseman


Twining Brothers, Grocers (jointly with No. 83)


T. Pritchard, Ironmonger


Oxford & District Co-operative Society Ltd, Café
(jointly with No. 83 to 1947, and with 83 and 85 in 1949+)


Not listed: probably part of the Co-op grocery at 85 next door


High Street Sub-Post Office


Frank Cooper Ltd Museum


English Teddy Bear Company


The Grand Café

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 20 July, 2021

The High home Small Shark Oxford History home