Oxford History: The High


69–70: Pens Plus

69-70 High Street

Nos. 69 and 70 are the two halves of this long green building. It dates from the eighteenth century, but has a modern stuccoed front. There is an eighteenth-century staircase and panelling inside.

The building is Grade II listed (List Entry No. 1115468).

At the time of the Survey of Oxford in 1772, before the widening of Magdalen Bridge and the rebuilding of this area, the houses/shops on this site were occupied by Mr Watson (a grocer) and Mr Homes.

No. 69

At the time of the 1851 census, James Dormer, the grocer at No.  69, lived over the shop with his wife and seven children, plus three servants and his assistant grocer, as well as a lodger (a solicitor’s widow) and her servant.

In 1861, Charlie Laker, the grocer, lived over his shop at No. 69: he was a widower with one daughter and his sister was his housekeeper. Laker was still here in 1871, and in 1881, when he had a new wife.

In 1901 Walter Andrews, the china & glass dealer, lived over No. 69 with his wife and five children.

No. 70

At the time of the 1851 census this was still a private house, occupied by Richard Blake, the Common Room man of University College, and his wife and servant.

Catherine Whiting, a 33-year-old widow, lived here in 1861 with her four-year-old daughter, her sister, and her elderly father. It appears to have been unoccupied in 1871.

In 1881 a journeyman tailor called Roger Simmons lived here with his wife, three children, and niece.

Occupiers of 69 & 70 High Street


69 High Street

70 High Street

By 1839–1851 

James Dormor, Grocer etc.

Various tenants:
Thomas Walker (1846)
Richard Blake (1851)
Robert Simmons (1861)
Mrs J. Whiting (1866–1871)
Robert Simmons (1870–1880)
John Owen, university lodgings (1884–1887)
Mrs Quarterman, university lodgings (1889–1896)


Charles Laker, Grocer & wine merchant


Walter E. Andrews & Son, China & glass dealers


H. Kelson & Son. Tailors, hosiers,
outfitters, & robemakers

R. J. Bartlett, Tailor (1939–1945)

P. W. Powell, Antique dealer (1932 only)

Eamonson & Stanton
Health food stores (1934 only)

Oxford Health Food Stores (from 1935)


Scottish Amicable Building Society (1947–1958)

Russell Butler & Marks
Auctioneers & estate agents, also agents for
Bristol & West Building Society

Oxford Health Food Stores


Miell & Co., Accountants (from 1966)

R. C. Phillips Ltd, Pen distributors
(Writing Instruments and Handwriting Consultant)

By 1993–present

Pens Plus
Dealers and repairers of vintage & modern writing equipment

Upstairs since 1984: Part of Stanford House

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 3 August, 2016

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