40 Cornmarket Street: Snappy Snaps

Snappy Snaps

No. 40 is a narrow seventeenth-century structure refronted in the eighteenth-century, and is one of the oldest properties owned by Oxford City Council. It is Grade II listed (list entry 1186051) and has always been in the parish of St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church.

The earlier tenement on this site was given to the City in 1361 by the former Mayor of Oxford John of Barford. For leases granted by the City Council between 1582 and 1830, see Salter, Oxford City Properties, pp. 249–251.

In in 1772, when a survey of every house in the city was taken in consequence of the Mileways Act of 1771, this house was occupied by Mr Becket, and the width of its frontage was 3 yards, 1 ft. and 9 in.

From 1880 to at least the late 1980s the Blagrove family had this shop, first as a jeweller's and then from 1890 as an opticians (photograph).

In 1989 Thornton's Chocolates opened its first shop in Oxford here before moving down to 48 Cornmarket Street in 1998.

Occupants of 40 Cornmarket Street listed in directories etc.


William Lillingston
Boot & shoemaker (together with No. 41 to the north from 1867)


F. Blagrove
Watchmaker, jeweller,& electric gilder (together with No. 41 to the south in 1880)

F. Blagrove Optician in 1890

E. Issott & Sons Opticians in 1921

F. Blagrove & Co Opticians from 1932


Thornton's Chocolates


Snappy Snaps

40 Cornmarket Street in the censuses


The cordwainer William Lillingston (35) lived here with his second wife Catherine (25) and his son by his first marriage, William (6). They had one female servant.


Kate Lillingston (35), now a widow and described as a cordwainer employing 18 men and 12 boys, lived here with her stepson William (15), who was “working in the business”, a shopwoman aged 27, and a housemaid.


Described as uninhabited.


No listing.


This house was jointly occupied with No. 41 to the south by Frederick Blagrove (40), described as a watch-maker & jeweller, his wife Ellen (32) and daughters Alice (14), Beatrice (7), and Ella (4).


Listed as uninhabited: probably part of the optician's shop downstairs.


Listed as uninhabited but in occupation: probably part of the optician's shop downstairs.


No listing.

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