Oxford History: The High


132: Vacant

132 Hotel Chocolat

No. 132 dates from the fifteenth century, but has been much altered. On the east side of the house in the passage-way is some original fifteenth-century studding with the remains of two original timber doorways, one with roses on the lintel.

It is Grade II listed together with the Chequers Inn behind (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.

In 1772 a survey of every house in the city was taken in consequence of the Mileways Act of 1771. No. 132 was then in the occupation of a Mr Goddard, and its frontage measured 8 yards 0 feet 7 inches. This would be Howell Goddard, who announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 20 June 1776 that he had given up the Chequers pub behind but would continue his business here as a hatter, hosier, and haberdasher.

At the time of the 1841 census Howell Goddard Tagart, the boot & shoemaker here, was living over the shop with his wife Jane and their children Jane, Thomas, Ann, and Amy, plus two female servants.

By 1851 the boot & shoemaker here was Henry Hatch, , and he lived over his shop with his wife and four children, plus two of his shop assistants and a general servant. He was described as the employer of five people.

On 24 January 1852 Howell Goddard Tagart announced in Jackson's Oxford Journal announced that he would be resuming his former business here. In the 1861, 1871, and 1881 censuses he was a widower and lived over this shop. By 1881 he was living here with a new wife, four children, his older sister, his younger brother (who was a banker’s clerk), plus a nursemaid and a general servant aged 13.

The next occupant from 1889 was John Coombs, a cook with ten children: he went bankrupt at this shop five years later (see Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 10 March 1894).

May's Drug Stores



From 1895 to 1908 this shop was May's Drug Stores
(see enamel plaque, right).


From 1909 to 1915 it was the Oxford Drug Company Ltd.


The upstairs appears to have been the offices of May's Drug Stores at the time of the 1901 and 1911 censuses and no one was living on the premises..

Advertisement for Belfast Linen


This shop was the Belfast Linen Warehouse from 1921 to 1967.

The advertisement on the left dates from the 1950s.


Photograph of No. 132 in 1949, when it was the Belfast Linen Warehouse

Occupiers of 132 High Street


Howell Goddard Tagart, Boot & shoe maker

By 1846–1851 

Henry Hatch, Boot & shoe maker


Howell Goddard Tagart (later Tagart & Son), Boot & shoe makers


John Coombs, Cook shop & dining rooms


May’s Drug Stores Ltd


Oxford Drug Co Ltd


Belfast Linen Warehouse


Bristol & West Building Society (later PLC)


Britannia Building Society


Hotel Chocolat



©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 2 July, 2021

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