No. 20: Part of St John’s College

20 St Giles

The present house at No. 20 St Giles’ Street dates from the early nineteenth century and is a Grade II listed building (List Entry No. 1063708). It lies in St Giles' parish.

At the time of the 1772 Survey of Oxford, Mr Goddard occupied the former house on this site, and its frontage was recorded as 21 yards, 1 foot, and 5 inches.

At the time of the 1841 census, this present house was occupied by William Palmer and his three grown-up children, all described as “independent”. They had three servants.

In 1861 the occupant was Mrs Caroline White, a widowed fund holder of 65: she lived alone, looked after by a cook, lady’s maid, footman, housemaid, and kitchenmaid.

In 1881, the Vicar of St Mary Magdalen Church, Henry Harvey, lived here with his wife: they were looked after by a cook, housemaid, footman, and lady’s maid.

In 1891 only four servants were in the house on census night.

It remained a private house until 1958, when it became part of Queen Elizabeth House (primarily based at Black Hall, next door to the north at No. 21).

In 2005 St John’s College took over No. 20 over for its own use, and renovated it together with No. 21 to provide more academic facilities.

Occupants of 20 St Giles’ Street listed in censuses and directories


William Palmer


Mrs William White


Rev. Henry Auber Harvey
Vicar of St Mary Magdalen


David George Hogarth
Fellow of Magdalen College, Ashmole’s Keeper,
& Keeper of the Antiquarium


Frederick Greig Hobson


Part of Queen Elizabeth House


Part of St John’s College

St Giles’ home

Stephanie Jenkins

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