Oxford History: The High


133: Hay’s Accountancy Personnel

133 High Street

No. 133 was rebuilt in 1937. With a frontage of 6ft 6in, it is one of the narrowest buildings in Oxford. It was in the parish of All Saints until that church was deconsecrated in 1971, and is now in the parish of St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church.

There is little today on the ground floor, but the offices upstairs spread over to 134 next door.

The building on this site has been owned by Oxford City Council since about 1420.

Former building on this site

For details of those who leased the former building here from 1593 to 1831, see H. E. Salter, Oxford City Properties (Oxford Historical Society, 1926), pp. 137–8.

In 1772 a survey of every house in the city was taken in consequence of the Mileways Act of 1771. No. 133 was then in the occupation of a Mrs Green, and its frontage measured 2 yards 2 feet 10 inches: two feet wider than it is today.

The former tiny building on this site was a pub for many years. The Split Cow was here from 1731, and in 1810 was renamed the Vine (although it is marked on maps as The Grapes).

On 1 March 1834 the Tollit brothers started to run the “Oxford Age” coach between the Vine Hotel here at 133 High Street, Oxford and London. It is listed in an 1846 directory as still having a coach office.

At the time of the 1841 census the victualler Sarah Stephens was living here with Elizabeth Stephens and Rosa Stephens (probably her daughter and granddaughter), plus two lodgers, a coachman, and two female servants.

The 1851 census shows George Baker, the landlord, living here with his wife and baby daughter and a young girl of 11 as their general servant.

In 1861 the inn was occupied by Joseph King and his wife; in 1871 by Charles Bruton, a widower with a young son; and in 1881 by Edward Elson, who lived here with his wife and daughter and a boarder.

The Oxford Chronicle of 11 October 1884 (p. 7e) reported that a new oak front, designed by H. J. Tollit and with the work carried out by J. Ward, was fitted to the Vine.

The Vine was bought by Halls in 1888. The 1901 census shows Irish-born Robert Gould (48) living at the Vine Inn with his wife Jane

The Vine Inn closed in 1905, and this building was unoccupied at the time of the 1911 census.

After two short tenancies, the photographer William R. Rose had the premises here (and next door at 134) from 1916 to 1937, when the old Vine Inn was demolished.

Present building at No. 133

Willliam R. Rose took over the new shop when it was rebuilt in 1937, and his name can be seen on the railings of the second-floor balcony (below).

William Rose balcony

William Rose remained at 133 & 134 High Street until 1964. This shop was then taken over by the Automobile Association. In 1981 permission was granted to the AA to turn this shop into an office and combine it with No. 134 next door, but in 1998 the AA retreated back and No. 133 became a separate office.

Occupiers of 133 High Street
Darker background = former building now demolished


The Vine Inn

Richard Smith (1817)
William Stephens (1831)
Sarah Stephens (1839, 1841)
Thomas Hunt (1846)
George Baker (by 1851–1853+)
Joseph King (1861)
Charles Bruton (1866–1867)
William Bruton (1869–1871)
Mrs Murname (1875–1876)
Edward Elson (1880–1881)
William Dix (1884–1887)
H. J. Beechey (1889–1890)
Robert Gould (1890–1904)


Oxford Geographical Institute (William Stanford & Co. Ltd.)


Sherratt T. Scott, Auctioneer & estate agent & valuer


William R. Rose Ltd., Photographers (also at 134)


William R. Rose Ltd., Photographers (also at 134)


Automobile Association (with 134 next door by 1979)

Guardian Royal Exchange


Hay’s Accountancy Personnel

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 5 June, 2021

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