No. 30: Former Pheasant Inn

30 St Giles

No. 30 St Giles' Street was built in the early seventeenth century, and has two eighteenth-century panelled rooms and fireplaces on the ground floor. It is owned by St John’s College, and is Grade II listed (List Entry No. 1369456). It lies in St Giles' parish.

It is first recorded as a pub or inn called the Pheasant in 1792, when it was leased by Hall’s Brewery, and it remained a pub until 1956.

In the early part of the nineteenth century it was divided into two separate units, with the pub occupying only the left-hand side, which was numbered 30½ or 30A. At the time of the 1851 census, Harriet Morton, a widow of 65, was a tea & coffee dealer at No. 30, where she lived with her two dressmaker daughters and two lodgers. Next door the victualler at the Pheasant Inn (erroneously numbered 31) was Matthew Neave, who lived there with his wife and four children. Three guests were staying at the inn on census night.

At the time of the 1861 census, when she was 75, Harriet Morton was still keeping a shop at No. 30, accompanied by just one daughter; while William Spencer, the victualler of the Pheasant, was at No. 30½ with his wife, 11-year-old daughter, two lodgers, and a servant.

In 1869 part of the Pheasant Inn was taken down to make way for a new 60-feet wide road leading from the Parks along the north side of the new Keble College into St Giles'. In the 1871 census this new thoroughfare was named as Pheasant Road, but it soon acquired its present name of Keble Road.

By 1871 the whole of the remaining building was used by the Pheasant Inn, and at the time of the census it was occupied by the publican William Spencer (a widower of 57), his niece, a general servant, an ostler, and a youth who looked after the Bath chair hire. By this year it held a university wine licence, allowing it to sell wine in the precincts of the University.

At the time of the 1881 census the Pheasant was occupied by Albert Beckley and his wife and their four children, plus a general servant, an ostler, and two “bath-chair lads” aged respectively 19 and 17. He was still here in 1891 (although 30 St Giles' Street is erroneously called the Lamb & Flag) with his wife, his daughters Anne (19), who was a barmaid, and Harriet (16), and three servants: one worked as an ostler, and the other two as bathchair men.

In 1956 a planning application by St John's College to turn this pub into offices (56/00354/D_H) was approved by Oxford City Council, and Wenn Townsend Accountants have occupied this building ever since. The name of the Pheasant still survives over the door:

The Pheasant

Occupants of 30 St Giles’ Street listed in censuses and directories




1823 & 1830

Probably James E. Morton by 1830

William Forty (also livery stable keeper)


John Mead


James E. Morton

Matthew Neave


Harriet Morton
Stationer & fancy warehouse
and tea & coffee agent

The Pheasant
William Spencer


Pheasant Inn
William Spencer, cab & fly proprietor


Pheasant Inn
Albert Beckley (1880–1910)
Cab & fly proprietor, livery stables
Henry Edward Beckley (1911–1914)
Mrs Ada Louisa Beckley (1915)


Pheasant P.H.
Victor Drewe (1916–1927)


Pheasant P.H.
Richard Charles John Jarvis (1928–1937)
Mrs Lily Jarvis (1939–1956)


Wenn Townsend Accountants

St Giles’ home

Stephanie Jenkins

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