Oxford History: The High


Oriel Street

Oriel Street

Oriel Street runs southwards to Oriel Square from the High Street, with Oriel's Rhodes Building to the east, and the shop at 102 High Street to the west. It is closed by bollards to through traffic.

It has always been in the parish of St Mary-the-Virgin.

Oriel Street was known as Shidyerestreet in the thirteenth century, and by 1762 it had become St Mary Hall Lane. Until 1838 it was also known as Skimmery Hall Lane.

Oxford's first theatre opened here in 1833.

The name Oriel Street came into use in 1836.

The painting below by William Matthison shows a lively Oriel Street in the early twentieth century.

Oriel Street by Matthison

The postcard below show Oriel Street from the south in about 1900.

Oriel Street and carriages

The following businesses are listed under “St Mary Hall Lane” in Pigot’s Diectory for 1823/4:

  • Booksellers & Stationers: Thomas COMBE
  • Book Binders: William HAYES
  • Boot & Shoemakers: John HOLMES
  • Printsellers, Carvers, & Gilders, & Picture frame makers: John WILLIAMS
  • Saddlers, &c.: John LODER
  • Tailors & Drapers: Charles FELDON
  • Trunk & Packing Case Makers: J. LODER

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 12 August, 2021

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