Oxford History: The High


131A: The Chequers

Passage to the Chequers

The Chequers is down a lane off the High Street, behind No. 132, and dates from the fifteenth century.

It is Grade II listed together with No. 132 in front (List Entry No. 1186736). It was 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.

The house was bought by All Souls College in 1466. In the fifteenth century it was a private house used by a moneylender, and this may explain its present name, as the chequer board was the old money-lending sign. It was however rebuilt as a tavern by Alderman Richard Kent in about 1500, when it became known as Kent’s Hall, making this theory less likely.



In 1696 John Clayton paid tax on twenty windows at this tavern.

Howell Goddard lived here until 1776.

William Palmer was the innkeeper here in 1791

In 1800 this inn was taken over by A. Hughes, who inserted this advertisement in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 30 August that year:


A. HUGHES most respectuflly begs Leave to acquint his Friends, Customers of the House, Travellers, and the Public in general, that he has taken and entered on the above INN, and humbly solicits the Favours of their Coutnenance and Support, assuring them, that his Liquors of all Kinds are of the first Quality, that his Stabling is roomy and complete, and that his Charges in every Respect shall be reasonable; by which, and a constant Endeavour to please, he hopes to meet with that Encouragement it will at all Times be his Wish to merit.

A good Ordinary [a courier conveying letters] every Saturday at One o'Clock.

By 1839 George Stroud was the innkeeper of the Chequers. At the time of the 1841 census he was described as a victualler and living here with his wife Mary, their son John, two servants, and a lodger, plus two servants. The situation was much the same in 1851. He was still the innkeeper here in 1861 when he was aged 65.

In 1901 William Robinson (34), the publican of the Chequers, lived here with his wife Charlotte and their two children.

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 4 June, 2021

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