Oxford History: George Street

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George Street, Oxford: Timeline


George Street is in the Northgate Hundred. The south side from Cornmarket to New Inn Hall Street is in the parish of St Michael, and the rest in the parish of St Mary Magdalen.

It is situated just outside the old city wall which runs parallel to it as far west as the present New Inn Hall Street and then veers south west to the point where it once met the Castle outer wall at the sharp bend in Bulwarks Lane.

George Street did not get its present name until the eighteenth century, and may be named after the George Inn.

Many old houses, some dating from the seventeenth-century, were demolished in late Victorian times to make way for a number of large new buildings. The oldest building in the street is now the Old Boys’ High School of 1880.

Date

Event

1133

The building of Beaumont Palace in the area to the north suggests that the street now called George Street was already in existence

1195

The Jorge Inn (after which the street would eventually be named) was built on the NE corner of the street

1215

George Street was known as Irishman’s Street (probably after William de Hibernia, bailiff of Northgate Hundred in 1254)

By 1515

George Street had become known as Broken Hayes

Late 1500s

Bulwarks Lane was developed off the south side of the street

Mid-1600s

George Street became known as Thames Street, as it was the direct route to the river at Hythe Bridge

The street was paved

1644

A serious fire that started here spread as far as St Ebbe’s: described by Wood, i:111

By 1772

George Street had become known as George Lane

1832

George Street Congregational Church was opened on the site of the present Threeways House by Paedobaptists who had seceded from New Road Chapel

1842

Congregational Church opened in George Street, founded by a group, largely composed of Paedobaptists, who had seceded from the New Road chapel in 1830

1850

Chapel of St George the Martyr consecrated on present cinema site

1872

New Inn Hall Street was extended to connect with George Street, making it part of the commercial centre of Oxford for the first time. As a consequence there was a little renumbering of the south side of George Street, but the old numbering system remained until 1895. The new piece of road was originally called Sadler Street, but this name has been subsumed into New Inn Hall Street. A new pub was built at the north-west corner, and a new grocer's shop for Mr Edgington at the north-east corner (see Jackson's Oxford Journal for 11 October 1873)

Oxford Co-operative & Industrial Society Ltd was founded, and opened its first premises at 36/37 George Street (renumbered 65 in 1895)

1880

Foundation stone of City of Oxford High School for Boys laid by Prince Leopold

1881

Royal Champion pub rebuilt

1886

New Theatre Royal opened on the site of the current theatre

1890

Lucas’s underwear factory opened at No. 59 on the corner of Bulwark’s Lane

1891

Oxford’s first YMCA opened in a new building at 10 George Street

1894

Grapes Inn rebuilt by H. G. W. Drinkwater

1895

George Street drastically renumbered in the modern style

1896

New Fire station & Corn Exchange block opened on the N side of the street

c.1920

Chapel of St George-the Martyr closed down; building taken over by the Ministry of Labour

1908

A large new Co-op building opened at SW end of George Street (replacing 63, 65, 67, and 69)

1915

The George Hotel in Cornmarket was replaced by a new building which extended considerably into the SE end of George Street, forming St George’s Mansions

Welsh Pony (now Eurobar) opened

1925

Twining’s Grocers opened at 15, 17, and 19 George Street

1926

Radiant House at Nos. 33 and 35 George Street 1926, by J. R. Wilkins, was constructed for Hill Upton & Co electrical contractors

1932

Corn Exchange closed and moved to Oxpens

1934

The present New Theatre was built

1935

Chapel of St George-the-Martyr demolished and replaced by the present Cinema

By 1947

Congregational Church and Nos 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, and 38 George Street demolished, and Threeways House was built on this island site between Gloucester Street and St George’s Place

1960s

Twinings Grocery closed down after 40 years in George Street

1966

City of Oxford Boys’ High School closed down

1971

Fire station closed and moved to Rewley Road

1977

Municipal Restaurant at No. 50 (now Job Centre Plus) closed

1978

Old Boys’ High School restored and taken over by the University of Oxford

1980s

Royal Champion pub building at 39 George Street demolished to make way for new shops and offices at NW end of New Inn Hall Street

1986

Threeways House modernized by the Co-op, and the side facing Gloucester Green rebuilt to form their main store in Oxford and their headquarters

2008

Jamie Oliver opened his first Italian restaurant in the UK, Jamie’s, at 24–26 George Street

A new Wetherspoon’s pub, the Four Candles, opened at 49–57 George Street

2012

The Bocardo Hotel opened above Jamie's Restaurant

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 15 February, 2017

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