Oxford History: The High


51: The Rose Tea Shop

51 High Street

No. 51 is second from the right of a long, mock-Tudor range (see picture below) rebuilt by Magdalen College in 1901.

The group at 49–52 High Street is jointly Grade II listed (List Entry No. 1047282).

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.

There is an archway in the middle leading to the St Edmund Hall buildings behind.

As four large shops fronts replaced six smaller old ones, the numbers 53 and 54 High Street disappeared for ever in the process.

49-52 High Street

“Dee’s Passage” used to run between the former Nos. 51 and 52 High Street, referring to James Dee, 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.

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

At the time of the 1881 census, four families lived in Light Horse Yard behind. The present Nos. 50 and 51 have a passage running between them, leading to college accommodation. This was the “splendid entrance” to the Masonic Hall; the entrance to the Light Horse Yard was once almost at this exact spot.

The passage and the pub disappeared when this row was rebuilt. John Durran, the ironmonger who lived next door to the pub in 1876, moved up to brand new premises in Rosslyn Villa in Windmill Road, Headington in the late 1880s.

Occupiers of the site of 51 High Street
Darker background = former buildings on this site, now demolished

In 1901 this range of buildings was rebuilt, with six shops becoming just four, so it is not possible to correlate the premises in the nineteenth century with those in the twentieth. It is assumed here that the present No. 51 occupies the old No. 52, plus part of the old No. 53


Former 52 High Street

Part of the former 53 High Street



James Dee (1832–71)
George Talbot (1872–6)
George Lineham (1880)
Thomas Thornton (1882–7)
John Samuel Ward (1889–99)

John Durran
Ironmonger, smith,& bell-hanger

Thomas Fenemore, Ironmonger

Present 51 High Street


Agnos Tobacco Co. (1904 only)
Angelo Lamprides, Tobacco manufacturer

University lodging house (Mrs Ellen Davis)


James Rogers, Craftsman in wood
James Rogers & Sons Ltd, Sculptors (later described as Heraldic artists & cabinet makers)

Upstairs: Magdalen College lodgings


Roland B. Bennett, Jeweller


Cherwell Antiques

Early 1980s

Music Market

By 1985–present

The Rose (formerly Rosie Lee), Tea shop

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 3 August, 2016

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