Oxford History: The High


21: Aspire

21 High Street

The group of five shops numbered 19–23 High Street dates from the late eighteenth century, and the upstairs rooms were converted to Brasenose College accommodation around 1930. They were in the parish of All Saints until that church was deconsecrated in 1971.

No. 21 is a Grade II listed building (List Entry No. 1047273).

In 1772 a survey of every house in the city was taken in consequence of the Mileways Act of 1771. According to Salter, No. 21 was then in the occupation of a Mr Sheard, and its frontage measured 5 yards 0 feet 7 inches.

In 1851 Hester Sheard, the grocer here, was a widow of 48, living over the shop with her daughter and two sons: Thomas was her assistant, while Arthur was a hosier’s apprentice. They had one servant. She was still living there in 1861.

By the time of the 1871 census Thomas John Walker Sheard had taken over his mother's shop and was living here with his wife and daughter and two servants. By 1881 he was a widower of 52 living here with his three children (all at school), his sister, a servant, and a lodger.

In 1911 David Rowe (32) and his wife occupied the eighteen rooms above 20 and 21 High Street and ran a boarding house there.

Occupiers of 21 High Street


Thomas Sheard (1839); Hester Sheard (1851; Thomas Sheard (from 1871),
Grocer & tea dealer


Shepperd Brothers, Robe makers [plus No. 20]


G. T. Jones & Co. Ltd, Wine & spirit merchants


Gough Brothers (later taken over by Scottish & Newcastle Breweries), Wine shop

By 1980–1981+

Morlands, Sheepskin products




Oslotuft, Fashion


Essensuals (Toni & Guy), Hairdressing



©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 19 July, 2018

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