Oxford History: The High


114: Space NK Apothecary

113 & 114

This large white building occupied by the Varsity shop, which is part of Shepherd & Woodward (No. 113, left) and Space NK Apothecary (No. 114, right) was entirely rebuilt between 1932 and 1934, but some of the original features, such as two seventeenth-century fireplaces, remain.

No. 114 together with No. 113 form a Grade II listed building (List Entry No. 1047254).

The house on the site of Nos. 113/114 was owned by a draper called John Bowell in the middle of the seventeenth century, and a chemical laboratory was built behind the premises. Anthony Wood wrote:

“About the beginning of 1663 Mr Sthael (the noted chemist) removed his school or elaboratory to a draper’s house called John Bowell, afterwards mayor of the citie of Oxon, situat and being in the parish of Allsaints, commonly called Allhallowes. He built his elaboratory in an old hall or refectory in the backside (for the house itself had been an ancient hostle).”

John Bowell paid Hearth Tax for six hearths at this house, the first in All Saints parish, in 1665, and poll tax records show him there in 1667. He was elected Mayor of Oxford in 1680. His “farthing token” of 1657 is shown below (picture kindly supplied by Peter Bowell) .

Coin obverse
Coin reverse

Left: Obverse of coin.
The text in the centre reads “IB 1657”, and “IOHN BOWELL MERCER” is inscribed around the edge.

Right: Reverse of coin.
There is a sugar loaf (John Bowell’s emblem) in the centre, and “SVGAR LOFE IN OXFORD” is inscribed around the outside.

At the time of the 1772 Survey of Oxford, No. 114 was occupied by a Mr Mayow.

At the time of the 1851 census, auctioneer and valuer Charles A. Green lived in the house that used to stand on this site with his wife and daughter and a general servant: he is described as employing six men and one apprentice. An annuitant, Dorothy Elder, and her spinster daughter also lived in the same building.

In 1861 the house was occupied by Henry Wood, a teacher of drawing (which is possibly an error in the original census), and his wife Catherine and their seven children. In 1871 Henry was described as a teacher of dancing, and is described thus in directories.

Occupiers of 114 High Street
 Darker background = former building on this site, now demolished


Thomas Medwin, Grocer & Tea Dealer

Henry W. Angelo, Fencing master

By 1851–1853+

Charles A. Green, Auctioneer & appraiser


Mrs C. Wood, Fancy repository

Henry Thomas Wood, Professor of dancing


William John Richards, Wine & spirit merchant


Eli Buckingham, Umbrella & sunshade manufacturer


Edward Richard Greening, Antique furniture dealer


Thomas Pritchard, Fancy goods dealer (later Ironmonger)


Foster & Co., Tailors, hosiers & robe makers


Hector Powe Ltd, Tailors


By 1998–2011

Kaliko, Ladies’ fashion


Gerry Weber


Space NK Apothecary

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 7 November, 2016

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