CORNMARKET, OXFORD

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Ship Street (off east side of Cornmarket)


Ship Street in February 2009

Ship Street runs between 28 Cornmarket Street and the Church of St Michael-at-the-Northgate eastwards, ending at Turl Street. Exeter College Chapel stands opposite the end of the street.

Before 1623 the road wound on to Catte Street, ending at the city wall near the East Gate. Salter states that Wiliam of Wykeham bought the eastern part of the rod which ran through New College to the East Gate, while Exeter bought most of the remainder in the seventeenth century.

In the thirteenth century it was called Dewy's Lane after the family of de Ou, de Ewe, or Dewy.

In 1385 it was known as Somenors Lane after a man who rented the blue Anchor here.

In the sixteenth century it was also called Lawrence Lane after Lawrence Hall, which stood on the east side of the churchyard.

From 1679 Ship Street was known as both St Michael's Lane after the church on its corner, and Jesus Lane after Jesus College, which runs along its south-eastern side. (The latter is rather confusing, as Market Street, lined by the south part of the college, was also known as Jesus Lane.)

By the 1760s the street had become known as Ship Lane, after the Ship Inn at No. 3. (This may be a corruption of “Sheep”, as a sheep market was held nearby.)

It has been Ship Street since at least 1839.

St Michael's Church 1834Above: Ship Street in 1834

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