Oxford History: The High

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92–94: Old Bank Hotel & Quod Restaurant


92-94 High Street

The main part of the Old Bank Hotel with its nine arches dates from the eighteenth century, but it was not all built at the same time: the four bays on the right (No. 93) were built in 1775 on the site of George Hall by the bankers William Fletcher and John Parsons, while the five bays on the left (No. 92) were added in 1798. The ground floor was altered around 1900. It was a bank from 1775 to 1998.

Old Bank Hotel from west

94 High Street in about 1905

No. 94 on the corner of Magpie Lane was rebuilt in 1902 by Stephen Salter in imitation of a sixteenth-century house, and the coat of arms of Queen Elizabeth I are on the front wall. It did not become part of the bank until about 1990.

Left: No. 94 shortly after it was built, when it was Joseph Vincent’s stationery shop.

At the time of the 1772 Survey of Oxford, there were four old houses on this site. Mr Couldry lived on the site of No. 92; Mr Miller, Mr Routledge, and Mr Fletcher on the site of 93; and Mr Fowle on 94.

An Oriel plan of 1814 shows that the old No. 94 was then occupied by a Mr Sykes.

 

The Revd W. Tuckwell, in his Reminiscences of Oxford, describes the Old Bank back in the 1830s thus:

The Old Bank stood where now it stands, already some twenty years old. It was founded by two tradesmen – Thompson, a gunsmith, and Parsons, a draper, the latter brother to Dr. Parsons, Master of Balliol and Bishop of Peterborough. Passing gallantly through the money panic of 1825, when Walter Scott was ruined and half the banks in England broke, it rose into high repute, obtained the deposits of all the Colleges and retains probably most of them to-day under the grandsons of its founders.

Nos. 92 and 93

At the time of the 1851 census John Parsons the banker lived over Nos. 92 and 93 with his wife, his son Herbert (also a banker), two daughters, and seven-year old son Henry. The family of six had eight general servants. He and his wife were still there in 1861, when just one of their sons, John, described as an assistant in the bank, lived with them; but they still had seven servants.

In 1871 William Rogers Phillips, a bank cashier, lived over No. 92 with his wife, three children, and two servants. At No. 93, only the servants were at home. The situation was the same in 1881.

In 1901 Francis Williams, a bank cashier, lived over No. 92 with his wife, four children, and two servants; while a banker’s clerk and a housekeeper lived at No. 93.

No. 94

No. 94 was occupied by the bookseller Thomas Macpherson in 1851, and by the photographer John G. Miller and his family in 1861 and 1871.

In 1881 Henry Druce, a solicitor, lived with his wife, niece, and one servant now lived over No. 94, which was then a bookshop.

In 1901 a college servant, Thomas Coombes, lived over No. 94, which was then a bootmaker’s.

Occupiers of 92, 93 & 94 High Street

Date

92 High Street

93 High Street

94 High Street

1839

Parsons, Thomson & Co.

John Parsons, Esq

(Mrs Parsons from 1875)

William Andrew Dicks
Cabinet maker

1846–1852+

Robinson, Parsons,
& Thomson, Bankers

Francis Macpherson
Bookseller

1866–1883

Parsons, Thompson,
Parsons & Co, Old Bank

J. G. Miller
Photographer & antiquarian [1866–1876]

G. Shrimpton. Bookseller & stationer

1884–1902

Parsons, Thomson & Co., Oxford Old Bank

Barclay & Company Ltd (from 1901)

Flack & Smith
Boot makers

1904–c.1990

Barclay & Company Ltd
later
Barclays Bank Ltd

Joseph Vincent, Stationer (1904–7)
Hall Bros, Tailors (1909–1931)

University lodging house (to 1943)

then apparently private house

c.1990–1998

Barclays Bank PLC (Old Bank)

1999–present

Old Bank Hotel and Quod Restaurant

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 2 October, 2014

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