Oxford History: The High


141–143 (Carfax House): Vacant

141-143 High Street

141-143 High Street in 1922

The present large building on the south-east corner of Carfax (above) was erected in c.1933 and is owned by Oxford City Council. It is known as Carfax House, as its new entrance is on the corner.

It replaced a large building comprising three small shops at Nos. 141–143 (left, viewed from the west in 1922).

For details of those who leased the former shops at 141 and 142 High Street from 1583 to 1839, see H. E. Salter, Oxford City Properties (Oxford Historical Society, 1926), pp. 141–4.

At the time of the 1772 Survey of Oxford, the old shops here were occupied by Mr Cherry (141), Mr Douglass (142), and Mr Dewe (143).

The three old shops were demolished in 1932.

Former No. 141

Cruse Horn, “perfumer, hair cutter, manufacturer or ornamental hair in all its devices &c &c” announced in Jackson's Oxford Journal of 8 October 1836 that he had commenced business here in the premises formerly occupied by Mrs Wentworth. At the time of the 1841 census he was living here with his wife Elizabeth, their servant, and two lodgers. On 1 January 1842, about five years after opening here, he announced that “in order to lessen his annual expenditure” he had moved to 7 St Aldate's Street.

The chemist Frederick Telfer announced in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 29 November 1845 that he was relocating here from 14 Cornmarket Street.

The lease of this property was advertised for sale in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 31 January 1857:


At the King’s Arms Inn, Holywell-street, on Tuesday the 10th of February, at Six o’clock,—The PREMISES, No. 141, High-street, one of the best situations in Oxford for business, containing a bow-fronted shop and kitchen on the ground floor, drawing and dining rooms on the first floor, with three bed rooms and two attics above; cellar and offices in the basement.
The Property is held by lease under the City of Oxford for a term of 40 years, from March 25, 1848. Quit Rent, £1 9s.; Land Tax, £2 2s. 2d.; and is now in the occupation of Mr. Wells, Berlin wool dealer, &c.

On 19 June 1847 Mr & Mrs Wells announced that they had moved their Berlin Repository & General Register Office here (from 4 Broad Street), and att the time of the 1851 census the haberdasher Edward Wells (58) and his wife Mary (53) lived upstairs at No. 141 with their two daughters, and a general servant. On 17 July 1858 Edward Wells announced that he had moved from here and was reopening that day at 107 High Street.

In 1861 this building was occupied by William Denyer, a saddler employing three men and two boys; in 1871 his widow Susannah was still here. No one lived over this shop in 1901 or 1911.

Former No. 142

The Horn family had a confectioner's shop here by 1836, and it survived until 1890. In 1851 Elizabeth Bolton, a widowed confectioner (who presumably looked after the business for the Horns) lived upstairs with her two children, a general servant, and a lodger.

On 9 October 1858 Charles Gee announced in Jackson's Oxford Journal that he supplied Edward Horn with his Oxford sausages, and they could be had cooked here at No.142 or delivered to any part of Oxford at short notice (presumably orders were sent in via the newly-introduced postal service)..

At the time of the 1861 census Edward Horn, a confectioner employing two boys, lived over the shop, and he was still here in 1871 and 1881.

In 1901 when the premises were occupied by two offices (Morrell's brewery and the University Typewriting Office, Joseph J. Giles (32), who was an engine & machine fitter in a brewery, lived here with his wife Bertha. No one lived over the office in 1911.

Former No. 143 (Carfax House)

In Jackson's Oxford Journal of 10 May 1845 Castle & Sweetman announced that on the following Wednesday they would be opening a “linen drapery, hosiery, &c.” here at Carfax House, having taken over the business of Mr Morison. They boasted that they obtained their stock from the best London and Manchester markets, and offered “an entire new stock of drapery goods, shawls, dresses, hosiery, gloves, lace, ribbons, flowers, stays, &c. &c.”

In 1851 the draper William Castle lived over No. 143 with his sister, three draper’s assistants, and a housemaid. In 1861 another draper, George Fisher, lived here with his family and a draper’s assistant and a draper’s apprentice; in 1871 he was away, but his brother James Fisher, who was his assistant, was in the house. In 1881 William Williams, linen draper, lived here with his wife, two draper’s assistants, one draper’s apprentice, and a domestic servant: the name of one of these assistants was Frederic Wyatt, who is probably the Wyatt who later took over the business.

In 1901 Annie Targerth (30), described as a housekeeper, lived over the drapery business with two boarders and a general servant. In 1911 the widow Elizabeth Stringer (53) was the housekeeper here and lived in six rooms over the shop with two drapery assistants.

Occupiers of 141, 142, & 143 High Street
Darker background = former building now demolished


141 High Street

142 High Street

143 High Street
“Carfax House”

1836, 1839

Premises occupied by
Mrs Wentworth to 1836

Cruse Horn, Hairdresser (1836–1841)

Richard Horn
(died 1844)

Then his widow Catherine Horn
Confectioner (died 1860)

together with Edward Horn
Pastry cook
(sole proprietor from 1860)

Alexander Morison
Linen draper & mercer


Frederick Telfer
Chemist (1845–1847 only)

John Norman Spencer
Surgeon dentist

Castle & Sweetman
Drapers (1846)

By 1851–1857

Edward Wells
Berlin & fancy wool warehouse

William Castle
Linen draper & undertaker


William Denyer
Saddler (1861–1875)

H. Andrews
Saddler & harness maker

George Fisher
Linen draper

Wyatt & Jackson


Henry Andrews
(later H. & E. Andrews
Saddle & harness maker

Colin Lunn

Shoes Limited
Boot maker (1922–1923)

Lennards Ltd
Boot maker (1925–1931)

Morrell’s (Trustees) Lion Brewery
University Typewriting Office
(to 1912)

Great Western Railway Co.
Enquiry & booking office (1913–1931)

Wyatt & Jackson
(later Wyatt & Sons)

Rebuilt c.1933

Carfax House


Wyatt & Sons, drapers


Chanelle, gowns

By 1993–2020

Edinburgh Woollen Mill



©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 5 September, 2021

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