Oxford History: The High

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136: Gigafix

136 High Street

No. 136 was built in the twentieth century in the neo-Georgian style. 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.

Former house on this site

At the time of the 1772 Survey of Oxford, the former house on this site was occupied by “Mr Paniotey”, who was the university fencing master Panayoty Ballachey, who was born in Greece and died at the age of 84 on 10 March 1793.

By 1837 the house and shop here were occupied by the tailor Adin Williams. On 4 November 1837 Jackson's Oxford Journal advertised a forthcoming sale of “a very desirable dwelling house, with an excellent front Shop, situate in the High-street, Oxford, in the occupation of Mr. Adin Williams, mercer, &c.”

In 1851 part of the former house on this site was occuped by the mercer's assistant Adin Williams junior, who was described as the head of the household despite being only 16; his father Adin Williams senior, who owned the tailor's shop downstairs, now lived in Summertown. A 25-year-old assistant and a servant lived with him. The second part of this house was occupied by Miss Frances Green (57), and the third by Miss Catherine Parker (62) and her servant.

In 1861 Adin Williams junior (26) and his two nieces were at home with the servants on census night.

Adin Williams senior died at this house on 11 October 1876. His executors wasted no time in disposing of his property, and an auction of his surplus stock and furniture to be held on the premises was advertised thusin Jackson's Oxford Journal of 18 November 1876:

126 HIGH STREET, OXFORD,
To Clothiers, Mercers, Furniture Dealers, and Householders.

Important sale of SURPLUS STOCK-IN-TRADE, consisting of 19 yards of black Angola, 108 yards fancy ditto and Tweeds, 20 short lengths doeskin Angolas, 30 fancy waistcoat pieces, 63 yards shirting, 24 white and coloured shirts, mackintoshes, scarlet jerseys, 74 hats and caps, 55 dozen linen collars, gloves, hat bands, and studs, 300 scarves, ties and bows, University gowns and hoods, morning cloaks, quantity of ready-made clothing, &c.
The HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE comprises mahogany dining and telescope tables, excellent mahogany sideboards, very handsome walnut dwarf bookcase, mahogany ditto, walnut settees in green damask, hand made mahogany chiffonière bookcase, ditto easy chairs in marone, reps, and leather, mahogany cornice poles, crimson and damask curtains, iron French, half-tester, and other bedsteads, palliasses, wool and flock mattresses, bolsters and pillows, blankets, feather beds, chests of drawers in mahogany, walnut, and oak, dressing tables, Cyclopean glasses, Turkey, Kidderminster, and other carpets and rugs (nearly new), kitchen utensils, and other miscellaneous effects.

By 1871 the upstairs of the former building was a lodging house kept by Sarah Simmons.

In 1901 Hugh James Allen (59), who had the tailor's shop on the ground floor, lived over this shop with his wife Catherine and their four children. He was still there in 1911, but was now a widower, and lived in the twelve roomswith his daughter Katherine, who kept house for him, and a servant.

Occupiers of 136 High Street
Darker background = former building now demolished

Date

136 High Street  

136 High Street (presumably upstairs)

1837–1876

Adin Williams, Tailor &c. (to 1861)

1848: T. B. Montrie, Professor of dancing

1866: Adin Williams' son George St Swithin Williams,
Solicitor
(1866) and Frederick Codd, Architect

1872: Oxon & Berks Bank

1880–1910

Hugh James Allen
Tailor & robe maker

1880: St Swithin Williams, Solicitor

1882–1889: W. Geekie

1894–1899: A. Ballard, Solicitor

1900–1901: Stephen Salter, Architect

1911–1915

Bertram Boasten
Bootmaker

H. J. Bennett, Artificial teeth manufacturer

1915–1932

A. Baker & Co. Ltd
Tobacconists

Oxford Dental Co. (1915–1922)
Ermest Lynn, Dentist (1923–1931)

1935–1954

Jackson’s Stores Ltd, House furnishers

1962–1967+

Smart Bros Ltd
House furnishers

1970–1972

J. Woodhouse Ltd, House furnishers

1976–1980+

Just Pants Plus

1985

Town & Country Building Society

By 1992–2003

Endsleigh Insurance

2003–2017

Karen Millen

2018–2019

Trend Luggage & Handbags

2019–2020

Mobile Technology Centre

2020

Gigafix

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 23 May, 2021

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