BROAD STREET, OXFORD

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No. 8: Bravissimo

Bravissimo

No. 8 is the left-hand half of a building dating from around 1800. It is jointly Grade II listed with No. 7 next door (List Entry No. 1185307), and is owned by Oxford City Council.

At the time of the 1772 Survey of Oxford Nos. 7 & 8 were occupied by a Mr Clement, and their combined frontage measured 11yd 2ft 6in.

The area behind Nos. 8, 9, and 10 was a market garden from at least 1830 to 1846, managed by the nurseryman T. Fairbairn.

By 1880 the cutler George J. Neill lived and worked at No. 8.

The next business to occupy the shop was Lindsey & Sons, whose name lived on here for a hundred years.

This was the third and last shop in Broad Street that was occupied by Blackwell’s Children’s Bookshop.

 

The 1881 census shows George J. Neill, described as a cutler employing two boys, living at No. 8 with his wife and daughter.

Mark John Lindsey (founder of the firm Lindsey & Sons) purchased Neill’s business in 1888 and opened the first branch outside London at 8 Broad Street on 20 September that year. The advertisement below is taken from Kelly’s Directory of 1908.

Mark Lindsey’s sons Jack and Charles continued the business, then their sons Ken and Rex, and finally Rex’s son John. Ken Lindsey retired in the late 1950s and the Oxford branch was acquired by the Isis Instrument Company (although it retained the name of Lindsey & Sons until the late 1970s).

Advert for Linsey’s

Blackwell’s Children’s Bookshop, which started at No. 22 in 1950 and moved to No. 6  in 1974, ended up here at No. 8 from 1986 to 2002.

Occupants of 8 Broad Street listed in directories

1852, 1861

Charles Thomas Hawkins, Accountant

1866–1875

John Naylor Clayton, Solicitor

1880–1887

George J. Neill
Practical surgical instrument maker & cutler

1889–1976

Lindsey & Sons
1889–1892: Opticians and surgical instrument makers (and cutlers in 1891/2 only)
1893–1949: Opticians
1952–1976: Surgical instrument, appliance, & truss makers

1980

Isis Instrument Co. (inc. Lindsey & Co.)

1986–2002

Blackwell’s Children’s Bookshop

2003–present

Bravissimo

When the solicitors moved out in the late 1870s, other people rented the upstairs as follows:

  • 1880: Professor Monier Williams, Treasurer and Secretary of the Indian Institute
  • 1882–1895: Virgin & Bennett, surgeon dentists
  • 1896–1906: Bennett & Knight, surgeon dentists
  • 1901–1906:Virgin & Bennett, surgeon dentists
  • 1907–1932: Bennett & Stroud, surgeon dentists
  • 1934–1939: Alfred Charles Bennett, surgeon dentist
  • 1940–1962: Ellmas Duplicator Co Ltd
  • 1964–1976: Isis Instrument Co. Ltd. (which had taken over Lindsey & Co. in the late 1950s.

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