39 Holywell Street

39 Holywell Street

Grade II Listed Building: List Entry Number 1047237. The house has an eighteenth-/nineteenth-century front on an earlier building, possibly a seventeenth-century core. It is owned by Wadham College

To the right of No. 39 is a back entrance to the King’s Arms.

Hope House Boarding & Day School started life here, run solely by Alfred Barling, before he moved his school in June 1861 to larger premises at 26 Holywell Street.

On 10 May 1955 Wadham was granted planning permission (application 55/04421/A_H) to convert the top two floors (39C) to undergraduate accommodation. The building was then numbered as follows:

  • 39A: Shop (now considered part of No. 38)
  • 39B: Offices
  • 39C: Rooms for undergraduates on first and second floors.

39 Holywell Street in the censuses


The 1841 census for Holywell does not give house numbers, but it is possible to deduce where people listed that year lived by examining directory entries between 1839 and 1842 and later censuses

Not listed: possibly vacant.


Abraham Walker (29), a master groom employing one man, lived here with his sister Caroline (27), who acted as his housekeeper, and one servant. Two graduates were lodging with them.


Alfred Barling (29), a private schoolmaster, lived here with his wife Sara (31), his four-year-old nephew, and a 13-year-old boarder. They had one female servant.


George Gillman (28), a bootmaker employing four persons, lived here with his children Rose (23) and Sarah (16), plus his apprentice and one servant.


Richard Gillman (31), a bootmaker, lived here with his wife Margaret (29) and his children William (5), Grace and Bertha (both 4), Percy (2), and Ethel (4 months). They had a nurse and a general servant.


Margaret Ann Gillman (39), now widowed and herself listed as a bootmaker, lived here with her children Grace and Bertha (both 14), Percy (12), Gertrude (10), and Ada (8). They had one servant.


Margaret Gillman, described as a boot manufacturer, still lived here with her daughters Bertha (24) and Ada (18), who was a tailor.


No listing.

Occupants of 39 Holywell Street listed in directories etc.

Survey of Oxford

Frontage: 11 yds 2 ft 3 in
Mrs Langford


Paul Hicks, Grocer & cheesemonger (died mid-1839)
and then his son Henry Hicks


John Walker, Grocer (to 1846)
Abraham Walker, Grocer (by 1851)

To 1861

Hope House Boarding & Day School
Run by Alfred Barling


Richard Gillman, Boot maker by 1866

Gillman & Son, Boot maker; 1871; R. V. Gillman, 1872

Richard Gillman junior, Boot maker by 1881

Mrs Richard Gillman, Boot maker, 1899–1921
(with William Franklin, livery stable in 1894–1896; H. J. Fletcher, livery stable, in 1899;
and James William Hearn, jobmaster, in 1916)

Richard William Gillman, Boot maker by 1935


Geoffrey Miller, Antique dealer (Holywell Antiques, W. H. Ridler in 1954)
P. D. Pike & Co., Insurance brokers
Gabbitas Thring & Co. Ltd, Scholastic agency
National Institute of Houseworkers Ltd


Blackwell’s Music Shop (photograph in 1958)


No listing


Tuck Shop

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© Stephanie Jenkins

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