Oxford History: The High


106: Vacant & 107: A-Plan Insurance

Tackley's Inn

No. 106 (left) and No.107 (right) originally formed Tackley’s Inn, an academic hall built in 1320. The pair of houses, which are owned by Oriel College, were refronted in the eighteenth or nineteenth century.

They are Grade II* listed (List Entry No. 1047253). They have always been in the parish of St Mary-the-Virgin.

Tackley’s Inn was built c.1320 by Roger le Mareschal, who had the living of Tackley. Adam de Brome acquired it from him in 1324 as a home for Oriel College, who still own the building. It is one of the very few surviving examples of a medieval academic hall. The building was divided into two as early as 1438, and the part to the east then became known as The Tavern.

In 1549 the whole hall and the shops in front were leased to Garbrand Harks (or Garbranus Herkes), a Dutch Protestant refugee, who sold books from the ground floor and wine from the vaulted cellar.

It remained a bookshop until the end of the seventeenth century, when it became Puffett’s Coffee House.

These two shops have a fine medieval vaulted cellar, part of which is incorporated into the present office at No. 107, which also occupies the whole refectory hall.

Vaulted roofAncient vaulted roof of Tackley's Inn, now the basement of A-Plan Insurance

Roof of 107Newer roof of A-Plan Insurance on the ground floor, part of Buckley Hall

No. 106

The 1772 Survey of Oxford shows No. 106 in the occupation of a Mr Wood.

On 30 January 1836 Charles Foster junior announced that he had moved his drapery business from Waterloo House (which was opposite the Angel Inn in the High Street) to his “other shop” here at 106 High Street; but by 1839 he had moved to 124 High Street.

Wheeler's/Wheeler & Day at No. 106

By 1839 James Luff Wheeler ran a bookshop here at No. 106. The 1841 census shows him living over this shop with his wife Ann and their children James (15), Ann (13), William (10), Dickinson (9), and Alfred (7), plus two female servants. They were still there with six children in 1851. His eldest son, William, was described as a bookseller’s assistant in 1851 and 1861.

By 1862 the firm was called Wheeler & Day.

On 26 April 1866 Wheeler & Day inserted the announcement below in Jackson's Oxford Journal stating that they had bought Edward Bracher's photographic business at 26 High Street and moved it here:

Wheeler & Day, JOJ 26 April 1866

Wheeler photograph back


In 1871 the upstairs quarters of No. 106 were let out to Miss Sarah Bliss, a lodging house keeper.


From 1872 William Henry Wheeler worked here on his own as a bookseller & stationer as well as a photographer. At the time of the 1881 census he was living over his shop with his wife and three children, plus a governess and general servant. He remained here until 1918.






Right: Back of a small card with a photograph
taken by Wheeler. He is using the University coat-of-arms,
showing an open book surrounded by three crowns

Launchbury at No. 106

The Launchbury family occupied No. 106 from 1919 to 1962, running it first as the Oriel Restaurant (right), with hotel accommodation upstairs. Note that the house then had a single dormer window in a different position from the present two.


From the late 1940s the firm E. C. Launchbury & Son became a tobacconist and confectioner (shown below), and Mrs Launchbury ran a hotel upstairs.



Photograph of the Launchbury shop in 1959

Launchbury at 106

No. 107

This became known as Buckley or Bulkeley Hall, and in the sixteenth century was a tavern run by Garbrand Harks.

The 1772 Survey of Oxford shows that No. 107 had a frontage of 9 yards 0 ft 9 in., and was then occupied by a Mr Lewis.

At the time of the 1841 census the tailor William Slatter lived over his shop here with his wife Ann, his sons John and Thomas, who were both tailors, and his younger children Sarah, Henry, George, and Jane lived over No. 107 with one female servant.

By 1851 Slatter and his son John were partners in the tailoring business at No. 107 and lived over the shop with four of John’s siblings and a general servant. Two families are listed between Nos. 106 and 107 as living in “Slatter’s Yard”, which must have been behind this shop.

On 17 July 1858 Edward Wells announced that he had moved here to No. 107 from his former shop at 141 High Street. At the time of the 1861 census No. 107 was duly occupied by Edward Wells, a “Haberdasher and Register for Servants” and his family. He called particular attention to his“Stock of WOOLS, consisting of Berlin, Fleecy Scotch Fingering, Shetland, Andilusian, Pearl, and Thibet; also a large variety of Designs for Braiding, Church Embroidery, and other Ornamental Needlework”.

On 21 October 1865 Edward Wells announced that he was moving to a third shop in the High Street, No. 99.

Boffins, 107 High Street


Boffin's Confectioners (right), who had opened at 109 High Street in 1847, moved here in 1865 and remained until 1906.

No. 107 was a tailor's shop from 1918 to 1962, with a café at 107A.

Occupiers of 106 & 107 High Street


No. 106

No. 107


Charles Foster


1839, 1842

Wheeler's Bookshop


James Luff Wheeler
Bookseller (1852–1861)




Wheeler & Day
Booksellers, stationers, and photographers,
and Office of the Oxford Directory





William Henry Wheeler
Bookseller, stationer, & photographer


Thomas Slatter


Henry Swallow Slatter
Silversmith & jeweller

N. Slatter & Co
Tailors & robe makers

Slatter & Swallow
Watch & clock makers


Edward Wells, Berlin Wool & Fancy Warehouse


Boffin’s Confectioner / Restaurant

James Boffin (1866–1887)

Alfred Boffin (1888–1904)

Boffins's, bakers, cooks
    & confectioners (1906)



Norman E. E. Minty
Cook & confectioner


W. Moon & Son
Pastry cooks & confectioners


Bartlett & Carter
Breeches makers & tailors


Joseph E. Bradbury, Tailor

later Bradbury & Venables
and then Bradbury, Venables, & Hookham Ltd


Listed at 107A
   Norman Taylor, Photographer (1918–1947)
   The Tackley Restaurant (1958–1962)
   Mrs B. Woodward, Café (1949)
   Thomas Robert Woodward), Café (1952–1954)
   Bianca Kirsch, Café (1956)


Edward E. Turner

106A: Achille Serre Ltd, Dyers (to 1932)



C. Launchbury Ltd, Restaurant (1923)

Oriel Restaurant (C. Launchbury Ltd) (1925)

   with Edward Turner photographer (1923 & 1925)
   and the Cherwell (Publishers) Offices in 1927
   and E. Rose (Oxford), tobacconists (1943)

Oriel Private Hotel (E. W. Launchbury Ltd) (1945)

E. C. Launchbury & Son
Tobacconists & Confectioners (1949–1962)
    with Mrs C. Launchbury, Boarding house (1947–1954)
    and Ewart Launchbury (1958–1960)
    and various tenants (1962)





The Tackley Hotel & Restaurant

106A: William & Glyns Bank Ltd
(Royal Bank of Scotland from 1985)

No listing: From 1965 building being converted on all floors to a building society (65/13499/AD_H)


Abbey National Building Society




A-Plan Insurance


Computer shop


The University of Oxford Shop



©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 28 May, 2022

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