59–61 Cornmarket Street: Vacant

Moss Bros at 59-61

Nos. 59, 60, and 61 Cornmarket are on the site of the original Crown Inn (not to be confused with the Crown Tavern on the opposite side of Cornmarket at No. 3). See separate page for the present Crown pub, which is behind Cornmarket, on the site of the inn's former stables.

In 1890/1 the three shops that replaced the inn were in turn replaced by the present building for the Metropolitan Bank.

The buildings on this site were in the parish of St Martin's (Carfax) until that church was demolished in 1896, whereafter the present building was in the parish of St Martin's & All Saints until All Saints Church was deconsecrated in 1971. It is now in the parish of St Michael-at-the-Northgate.

The original Crown Inn at Nos. 59–61

The original building of Crown Inn here was a private house from 1032 to 1220. It then became known as Drapery Hall.

In 1364 it became Spicer's Inn, named after William le Spicer and his family.

It became the Crown Inn in 1600, and was of a considerable size, as in 1666 it paid tax on fifteen hearths. The Morrell family acquired it in 1672.

Anthony Wood describes in his diary (ii:152) how he ate and drank at the Crown Inn on 18/19 March 1669 with Sir Edward Bysshe, and also records a death here in January 1687 (iii.206):

2 Jan., Sunday, in morne, died suddenly at the Crowne Inn Oxford of a sore throat (alias the French pox) Robert Thacker, designer to the King, and the next day was buried in S. Martin’s church at the west end near to the font, aged between 40 and 50”.

It became a coaching inn in the early eighteenth century.

The building ceased to be an inn in 1750, and lost its frontage in 1774 when Cornmarket was widened.

Crown Inn in 1848

The Wellington pub at No. 61

By 1839 the old Crown Inn had been converted into a pub to the south and two shops to the north. The pub was the Wellington.

The engraving on the right from the Illustrated London News of 1848 shows the Wellington pub with Boffin the baker on the left at No. 62 and Greatbatch the fishmonger on the right at No. 60.

The following advertisement appeared in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 30 January 1864:
“WANTED—A few more CUSTOMERS to the WELLINGTON INN, CORN MARKET, where they will get a good Dinner for 7d., an excellent Likeness for 6d., or 12 Carte de Visite Portraits for 7s. 6d.”


The Wellington pub closed in about 1871.



Following the closure of the Wellington in 1871, John Falkner, the woollen draper at Nos. 59 & 60 to the north, expanded into its premises at No. 61, and until 1890 his shop spread over the three shops that occupied the whole original building of the Crown Inn:

In 1890 Falkner's shop (the old Crown Inn) was demolished at the same time as another four shops to the south (Nos. 62–65) and the bulk of St Martin’s Church

The present building

In 1890 Nos. 59-61 were rebuilt by H. G. W. Drinkwater as the single unit they are today for the Metropolitan & Birmingham Bank, which moved across the road from the former building at 11 Cornmarket.

The bank was named the Metropolitan, Birmingham and South Wales Bank from 1892 to 1893, and then from 1913 the Metropolitan Bank (of England and Wales).

In 1914 the Metropolitan Bank was absorbed by London City and Midland Bank, which moved into a former shop (now HSBC) on the corner of Carfax. Their old bank building here at 59–61 Cornmarket has been a shop ever since.

Occupants of 59–61 Cornmarket Street listed in directories etc.


No. 61 (left) No. 60 (Middle) No. 59 (right)


The Wellington (1839, 1846);
The Wellington Dining Rooms (1867)

Landlords (not subject
to 19C wine licences):
1839: Thomas Roberts
18411851: Mary Roberts
1861: Albert James Clark


T. Greatbatch
China & glassware


Thomas Greatbatch

L. Greatbatch
China & glass dealer


John Falkner, Woollen draper & outfitter


John Falkner, Clothier

These old shops were demolished in 1890 at the time the bulk of St Martin’s Church was removed

By 1898–1914+

Metropolitan Bank of England & Wales Ltd
with George Hughes, the manager, living at Bank House


Montague Burton Ltd, Tailors

By 1988–1994

Our Price Records

By 1996–2018

Moss Bros
[moved to the new Westgate Centre in 2018]



59–61 Cornmarket Street in the censuses


No. 59/60: The china dealer Thomas Greatbatch (40) lived here over his shop with Elizabeth (40), Thomas (6), and Jane (5).

No. 61 (The Wellington): The victualler Mary Roberts lived here with Ann (16), Sarah (15), and Matilda Roberts (10). Also in residence are two printers.


Nos. 59/60: James Turrill (34), a poulterer & butter factor, lived here with his wife Rosetta (35), his children Maria (6), Sarah (5), James (3), Susan (1), and Alfred (6 months), and his sister-in-law Marilla Smith. They had one female servant.

No. 61 (The Wellington): The victualler Mary Roberts (48), described as a widow, lived here with her daughter Annie (18), who was a milliner. They had a lodger, and one general servant.


Nos. 59 & 60: John Falkner (39), a widowed clothier, lived here with his unmarried sister Ann (24) as his housekeeper. Two assistant clothiers – Charles Parmenter (28) and Joseph Harris (22) – are lodging with them, and they had one female servant.

No. 61 (The Wellington): Albert James Clark (42), a cordwainer & publican, lived here with his wife Emma (4) and his children Anna (12) and Edwin (9). They had no servants.


Nos. 59 & 60: John Falkner (49), tailor & clothier, still lived here with his sister Ann (34), who continued to act as his housekeeper. They had one general servant, and an assistant clothier lived with them.

No. 61 (former Wellington): Not listed: probably being taken over by Falkner's Draper's & Outfitter's.


Nos. 59, 60, & 61: John Falkner (59) still lived over his extended shop. Described as a tailor and clothier, he was now a widower, and his spinster sister Anne Maria (43) served as his housekeeper. Two assistant clothiers – John R. Lane (3) and Arthur James Cave (17) – were living in the household, and they had one general servant.

The three shops in the old Crown Inn building were demolished in 1890


Listed as being rebuilt.


George Hughes (49), the bank manager of the Metropolitan Bank downstairs, lived here with his unmarried sisters Elizabeth (51) and Margaret (42) and two servants (a cook and a housemaid).


George Hughes (59), the bank manager, still lived here in twelve rooms over the Metropolitan Bank with his wife Marion (46) and their children George (8) and Elizabeth (7). Also living with them were the children's governess and two servants (a cook and a  housemaid).

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