Oxford History: The High


116–117: Vacant

The pair of houses that form the shop at Nos. 116–117 date from the early nineteenth century. They are jointly a Grade II listed building (List Entry No. 1047256). They were in the parish of All Saints until that church was deconsecrated in 1971. It is now in the parish of St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church.

116 High Street

In 1696 Alderman Hawkins paid tax on ten windows at 116 High Street.

In 1772 a survey of every house in the city was taken in consequence of the Mileways Act of 1771. No. 116 was then in the occupation of a Mrs Young and had a frontage of 6 yards 1 foot 10 inches

At the time of the 1841 census the confectioner John Golding lived here over the shop with his wife Mary and their five children, plus two female servants and a lodger.

In 1851 Henry Stuart, the tailor here, lived here over his shop with his wife and daughter and two servants. (One of the servants, an 18-year-old errand boy called Eli Buckingham, can be found as an umbrella manufacturer at 114 High Street from 1882.) In 1861, the tailor George Seager lived here with his family; his niece Harriet Seager was looking after the house in 1871.

Oxford University Press has had the shop (on this east side of its present premises) since 1875.

By 1881 the upstairs premises were let out to George Wastie Leach, a cook, who lived here with his wife and sister and three servants (a waiter, kitchenmaid, and scullerymaid). He was still there with his wife and their servant in 1901, described as a cook of Pembroke College.

At the time of the 1911 census the nine rooms upstairs were occupied by the college cook Albert Payne (35) and his wife Lucy (27), who ran a lodging house here.

117 High Street

The property on the site of this house and Nos. 118 next door, and everything except the front shop at No. 119 was known as Redcock's in 1419 when it was bought by Oxford City Council.

For details of the leaseholders of this shop from 1580 to 1841, see H. E. Salter, Oxford City Properties (Oxford Historical Society, 1926), pp. 129–30.

At the time of the 1772 Survey of Oxford, No. 117 was occupied by a Mr Turner and had a frontage of 4 yards 0 feet 6 inches.

In 1813 the new (and present) house on this site was occupied as a private dwelling by Francis Freeborn, who put the lease up for sale the following year. Jackson's Oxford Journal of 3 September 1814 published the following advertisement:

in the city of oxford,

On Tuesday the 20th day of September inst, between the hours of Five and Seven in the evening, at Mr. Davis's, the Chequer Inn, in Oxford, under such conditions of sale as will be then produced,–A truly valuable and desirable leasehold dwelling house and premises, with immediate possession, situate exactly opposite All Saints' Church, in the High-street, in the City of Oxford, now in the occupation of Mr. Freeborn, the proprietor.

The premises in front comprise a neat parlour, good kitchen, passage entrance, capital arched cellaring, 2 handsome and pleasant drawing rooms, and 3 airy and comfortable bed chambers, with convenient closets, on the first and second floors; also detached servants' offices across the yard, consisting of a good kitchen, wash-house, with a very comfortable sleeping rooms over the same; pleasant garden, with green house, court yard, pump of excellent water, and every other convenience to render the whole complete.

The premises have, within these few years, been newly erected, in a very substantial manner, and are in excellent repair. They are held by lease under the City of Oxford for a term of 40 years, which was renewed in November last....

At the time of the 1841 census the breeches-maker Abel Quarterman lived here over his shop with his wife Elizabeth and their five children, plus two lodgers and two female servants

In 1851 Henry Horneman, a cigar dealer, lived upstairs at No. 117. Soon after the census, the cigar business relocated to 3 Turl Street. On 21 February 1852 the house was advertised to let, and Henry Le Grand, a restaurateur, moved here from St Aldate’s Street.

The upstairs premises were unoccupied in 1861, but in 1871 they were let out to Harry Lucas, an attorney's clerk, who lived here with his wife and five children and two servants. In 1881 they were occupied by Harry Richard Lucas, a clerk in the Oxford Diocesan Registry, and his wife and four children, plus a domestic servant.

In 1901 Fred William Albert Bennett (25), a laundry clerk and lodging house keeper, lived over this shop with his wife Lilian and two servants, plus two undergraduate boarders.

In 1911 the eight rooms upstairs were occupied by the upholsterer Ernest Goodall (52) and his wife Harriet (52), who with her 17-year-old daughter Marjorie ran a lodging house here.

The tailor Frederick G. Mullins occupied No. 117 (and No. 119 two doors to the west) from 1912 to the 1930s. An advertisement from 1929 reads:

Here in these little ‘Old World’ Shops Nos. 117–119 in the famous High Street, nearly opposite ‘The Mitre’ Hotel, can be seen beautiful silks in wonderful shades for Gentlemen’s Neckwear; these can be made into ties to your own designs and colourings in one hour. Do not leave this old City without seeing them, you will not be asked to buy. Prices 1/6, 2/6, 3/6, 4/6.

A-Plan Insurance moved into this shop and No. 118 on the west side, and these two shops were combined into one. A-Plan moved to 107 High Street in c.1993, and in February that year planning permission was granted to Lincoln College to change the use of the ground floor from offices to retail, and the use of the top three floors from offices to college residential (91/00601/NFH).

In 1995 Oxford University Press next door obtained planning permission to expand into this shop from No. 117 next door (95/00525/NFH and opened a proper bookshop in both shops.

Occupiers of 116 & 117 High Street


116 High Street

117 High Street


John Goolding, then Mary Goolding

Abel Quartermain
Breeches maker


Henry Stuart
Tailor & robe maker

Melchior Lopez
Cigar dealer


Henry Le Grand


Houghton & Tuke
Music sellers

Electronic and International
Telegraph Offices [to 1869]


Thomas Bickerton

George Gare
Boot & shoemaker
[from 1871]


Oxford University Press


Clarendon Press Depository
to 1923

Oxford University Press Showroom
from 1925 to 1996

H. Richardson Lucas


Thomas Leach


Misses E. & M. Liddell
Berlin wool depot & shirt manufacturer

1900 only

Norman Edward Minty
Japanese Art Depot


Richard Dossett


Frank Smith


Frederick George Mullins
Hosier (and at No. 118 & 119)

(with Chantry Café upstairs
1928–1929 only)


Carr, Son & Woor Ltd
Tailors, outfitters & hosiers
(with Davidson & Brown café upstairs in 1934,
Nynee's Tea Rooms in 1936, John Lambert café in 1937,
Miss Nina Lambert café in 1939–1940)


John Bell & Croyden
Surgical appliance makers (1941–1967)


A-Plan Protection Ltd
Insurance brokers
(jointly with No. 118)

117A: Manpower Employment Agency


Oxford University Press Bookshop



©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 20 October, 2021

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