Oxford History: The High

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49: Honey's Newsagent  •  50: Oxford Blue
51: The Rose Tea Shop  •  52: Mr Simms sweet shop


49, 50, 51, 52

This long, mock-Tudor range at 49, 50, 51, & 52 High Street was built by Magdalen College in 1901, but now belongs to St Edmund Hall. It is built of brick, covered with rough-cast, and has Brize Norton stone roof tiles. The architect was E. P. Warren and the builder Messrs Benfield & Loxley. The range of four shops is jointly Grade II listed (List Entry No. 1047282).

There is an archway in the middle which now provides access to the St Edmund Hall accommodation above the shops.

As four large shops fronts replaced six smaller old ones, the numbers 53 and 54 High Street disappeared for ever in the process, so there is no exact correlation between the old and new numbers. The former and present shops were in St Peter-in-the East parish until that parish was united with St Cross parish in 1957.

The current (1901) range of four shops

No. 49: This was a cigar merchants and tobacconists from 1902 to 1956. It was then a bank from 1958 to 1971, and since then has been a newsagents.

No. 50: This was an antique shop from 1947 to the early 1980s.

No. 51: This has been a tea shop since c.1984.

No. 52: When the old row of buildings was demolished in 1901, Hine & Son the tailors (who had been in the old shop approximately on this site since 1876) moved into this new shop. They remained for nearly a hundred more years until they moved to Wantage in October 1998. Waterfield’s, the secondhand booksellers from Park End Street, then moved in.

Upper floors of the four shops at Nos. 49–52: (Besse Building of St Edmund Hall)

These 1902 shops had university lodging houses on their upper floors from the start. At the time of the 1911 census Frederick Pickering (39), a lodging house keeper, lived in the twelve rooms over the present No. 49 with his wife and two sons. Tthe college servant Richard Cadman lived over the present No. 50 with his wife Gertrude, who kept the lodging house there. Mrs Ellen Davis had one over No. 51 from 1904, and at the time of the 1911 census Miss Alice Jane Davis (41), described as a university lodging house keeper, lived over No. 52, but as she occupied seventeen rooms, her lodging house probably also spread over No. 51. In 1948 a share in the Besse Benefaction to the University enabled St Edmund Hall to purchase this row of shop, and three years later they converted the upstairs into a student hostel (51/01864/A_H) which is now their Besse Building.

Arms over 50 & 51The coat of arms of St Edmund Hall is over No. 50 with the date A.D. 1952 (the year they bought this range),
and that of Magdalen College over No. 51 with the date A.D. 1901 (the year they built it).
Over the central archway are the initials A.B. (for Antonin Besse) with the date A.D. 1950 (the year of his benefaction).

No. 50A (through the archway)

The Masonic Buildings were built behind this group of shops in 1906, and were accessed by the present “splendid entrance”. They included an apartment measuring 50 x 30 feet, a large banqueting or ball room measuring 70 x 35 feet with a gallery at one end, and other smaller rooms. A new restaurant was opened there in 1909 (with plans and photographs shown in the Oxford Journal Illustrated of 20 October that year). In the First World War the Masonic Buildings were part of the 3rd Southern General Hospital in the First World War (photograph of entrance).

Masonic Lodge
“Masonic Buildings, Oxford” in 1919. Watercolour by Walter Ernest Spradbery
showing an ambulance and nurse outside this branch of the hospital
Reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

The Masonic Buildings closed in 1945, and these premises were then the Forum Restaurant/Dance Hall from 1947 to 1954.

Occupiers of the present 1901 building at 49, 50, 51, & 52 High Street

Years

No. 49

No. 50

No. 51

No. 52

1902–1917

George Cooke & Co.
Cigar merchants

George E. Weeks & Co.
Confectioners

Agnos Tobacco Co.
(1902 only)
then
Angelo Lamprides,
Tobacco manufacturer

William P. Hine
Tailor

1904–1906

1907–1917

James Rogers
Craftsman in wood

later James Rogers
& Sons Ltd
Sculptors

Later described as
Heraldic artists & cabinet makers

 

1921

Leslie Chaundy
Bookseller

1922–1941

Penrose & Palmer
Photographers

1945

Vacant

1947–1949

Peter Audley-Miller
Antique dealer

1952

Lennon Bros Ltd
Tobacconists

1954

Roland B. Bennett
Jeweller

1955–1956

William Ridler
Antique dealer

1958–1971

Lombard
Banking Ltd

1973–1975

R. F. Hicks
Newsagent

1976

A. & A. Hattersley
Newsagents

Cherwell Antiques

Early 1980s

Honey’s Newsagent

See Oxford Mail
of 23 July 2007

Music Market

1983–1990

Chinese Art
Gallery Centre

The Rose
(formerly Rosie Lee)
tea shop

1998

Gifts from the Grange

1999–2000

Waterfield’s
Secondhand books
(Oxford Mail article)

2000–2005

Vintage Magazine Company

2005–2009

Bajan Blue swimwear

2010

Oxford Blue

Mr Simms Olde
Sweet Shoppe

2011–present

The six former shops (including two pubs) on this site

NB: The old numbers of the SIX shops spanning this site that were demolished
in 1901 will obviously not correlate with those of the present FOUR shops

Former No. 49, 49A, and 50 High Street (including the Coach & Horses pub)

In 1841 the original, narrower No. 49 at the far left of this group was occupied by the confectioner Thomas Shields and his wife Ann, plus a lodger and three servants. In 1861 and 1871 the upholsterer Theophilus Carter and his family were living here, but in 1875 he expanded into No. 48 to the west and moved to live over that shop.

The Coach and Horses pub was situated behind No. 49 at 49A, and the entrance to its court was between the former Nos. 49 and 50. In 1851 Jane Teall, a widow of 58 (who had moved out of the Greyhound pub at Gravel Walk on the other side of Longwall Street when that pub was demolished by Magdalen College in 1846), was the landlady here, probably helped by her three daughters.

In 1871 the victualler William Thornton lived here at the pub with his wife Ellen and their three children.

The Coach & Horses was demolished with the rest of this row in 1899.

Date

Former 49 High Street

Former 49A High Street (behind)

Former 50 High Street

By 1839–1852

Thomas Shield
Confectioner
“Dinners & breakfasts prepared”
(1852)

Coach & Horses pub

Landlords:
Jane Teall (1839–1852)
Ellen Thornton (1861–1894)
James Bennett (1896–1901)

Hawtin Pearson
Watch & clockmaker

1861

Theophilus Carter
Upholsterer & cabinet maker

(Also at No. 48
from 1875 to 1883)

Thomas Lambert
Shoemaker

1866

John Glover
Tobacconist

1867

Mrs Wilson
Stay & corset maker

1875

William J. H. Robinson
Hairdresser & perfumer

1887

R. Terry
Practical watchmaker & jeweller

1889

H. J. Peagam
Hairdresser

1893–1894

Frank Wright Jeffs
Hairdresser

1896–1901

John Goddard
Antique furniture depot

Weeks & Co.
East-gate Restaurant
Confectioners & bakers
(from 1899)

Former 51 & 52 High Street (including The Lighthorseman pub)

In 1840 Joseph Thornton, who had opened his first bookshop in Magdalen Street in 1835, moved to the former 51 High Street. The 1841 census shows him living here with his wife Emma and their baby daughter, and Mary Thornton (likely to be his mother), plus three female servants. In 1851 Thornton, now 42, was still living here with his wife and six children, plus a servant and nursemaid. In 1853 he moved back to Magdalen Street, and in 1863 to 10 Broad Street, and then to 11 Broad Street in 1870 (where his shop, Thornton’s Bookshop, survived until 2002). There was, however, still a William Thornton living here at 50 High Street in 1871.

Dee’s Passage” used to run between the former Nos. 51 and 52 High Street, referring to James Dee, who was the landlord of the Lighthorseman pub from 1832 to 1871. A directory of 1861 states “Black Horse Court” intersects between the former No. 51 and 52, suggesting that the Black Horse could have been another name for the Lighthorseman. The 1841 census shows James Dee living at the pub with his wife and their servant girl.

By the time of the 1871 census the landlord living at the put was George Talbot. Four families lived in Light Horse Yard behind, and again in 1881. .

Date

Former 51 High Street

Former 52 High Street

1832

?

Lighthorseman pub

Landlords:
James Dee (1832–1871)
George Talbot (1872–1876)
George Lineham (1880)
Thomas Thornton (1882–1887)
John Samuel Ward (1889–1899)

By 1840–1853

Joseph Thornton
Bookseller

1876

Hine & Son
Tailors and robe makers

1898–1899

William Hine (executors of)

Former 53 and 54 High Street

No. 53 was occupied by the ironmonger John Durran from at least 1866 to 1880; in the late 1880s he then moved up to the brand new Rosslyn Villa in Windmill Road, Headington, and another ironmonger, Thomas Fenemore, took over this shop. No. 54 was a beer and then a wine shop from at least 1866 to 1882. It then became a lodging house.

Date

53 High Street

Former 54 High Street

1866–1867

John Durran
Ironmonger, smith, & bell-hanger

Joseph Hodder
Beer retailer

1869–1875

William Harris
Ale & porter merchant

1876

William Corpp
Wine merchant

1880

The Fleur de Lys: George Costar
Beer & wine retailer

1882

Thomas Fenemore
Ironmonger

1883–1899

Charles Fitzpatrick
Lodging house (jointly with No. 55 next door)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 19 July, 2018

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