Oxford History: The High


116–117: Oxford University Press Bookshop

The pair of houses that form the shop at Nos. 116–117 date from the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. They form a Grade II listed building (List Entry No. 1047256). They were in the parish of All Saints until that church was deconsecrated in 1971.

116 High Street

In 1696 Alderman Hawkins paid tax on ten windows at 116 High Street.

In 1772 a survey of every house in the city was taken in consequence of the Mileways Act of 1771. No. 116 was then in the occupation of a Mrs Young and had a frontage of 6 yards 1 foot 10 inches

At the time of the 1851 census, Henry Stuart, the tailor at No. 116, lived over the shop with his wife and daughter and two servants. (One of the servants, an 18-year-old errand boy called Eli Buckingham, can be found as an umbrella manufacturer at 114 High Street from 1882.) In 1861, the tailor George Seager lived here with his family; his niece Harriet Seager was looking after the house in 1871.

Oxford University Press has had the shop (on this east side of its present premises) since 1875.

By 1881 the upstairs premises were let out to George Wastie Leach, a cook, who lived here with his wife and sister and three servants (a waiter, kitchenmaid, and scullerymaid)

At the time of the 1911 census the nine rooms upstairs were occuied by the college cook Albert Payne (35) and his wife Lucy (27), who ran a lodging house here.

117 High Street

In 1772 No. 117 was occupied by a Mr Turner and had a frontage of 4 yards 0 feet 6 inches.

In 1851 Henry Horneman, a cigar dealer, lived upstairs at No. 117. Soon after the census, the cigar business relocated to 3 Turl Street, and Henry Le Grand, a restaurateur, moved here from St Aldate’s Street. The upstairs premises were unoccupied in 1861, but in 1871 they were let out to Harry Lucas, an attorney's clerk, who lived here with his wife and five children and two servants. In 1881 they were occupied by Harry Richard Lucas, a clerk in the Oxford Diocesan Registry, and his wife and four children, plus a domestic servant.

In 1911 the eight rooms upstairs were occupied by the upholsterer Ernest Goodall (52) and his wife Harriet (52), who with her 17-year-old daughter Marjorie ran a lodging house here.

The tailor Frederick G. Mullins occupied No. 117 (and No. 119 two doors to the west) from 1912 to the 1930s. An advertisement from 1929 reads:

Here in these little ‘Old World’ Shops Nos. 117–119 in the famous High Street, nearly opposite ‘The Mitre’ Hotel, can be seen beautiful silks in wonderful shades for Gentlemen’s Neckwear; these can be made into ties to your own designs and colourings in one hour. Do not leave this old City without seeing them, you will not be asked to buy. Prices 1/6, 2/6, 3/6, 4/6.

A-Plan Insurance moved into this shop and No. 118 on the west side, and these two shops were combined into one. A-Plan moved to 107 High Street in c.1993, and in February that year planning permission was granted to Lincoln College to change the use of the ground floor from offices to retail, and the use of the top three floors from offices to college residential (91/00601/NFH).

In 1995 Oxford University Press next door obtained planning permission to expand into this shop from No. 117 next door (95/00525/NFH and opened a proper bookshop in both shops.

Occupiers of 116 & 117 High Street


116 High Street

117 High Street


John Goolding, then Mary Goolding

A. Quartermain
Breeches maker


Henry Stuart
Tailor & robe maker

Melchior Lopez
Cigar dealer


Henry Le Grand


Houghton & Tuke
Music sellers

Electronic and International
Telegraph Offices [to 1869]


Thomas Bickerton

George Gare
Boot & shoemaker
[from 1871]


Oxford University Press


Clarendon Press Depository
to 1923

Oxford University Press Showroom
from 1925 to 1996

H. Richardson Lucas


Thomas Leach


Misses E. & M. Liddell
Berlin wool depot & shirt manufacturer

1900 only

Norman Edward Minty
Japanese Art Depot


Richard Dossett


Frank Smith


Frederick George Mullins
Hosier (and at No. 118 & 119)

(with Chantry Café upstairs
1928–1929 only)


Carr, Son & Woor Ltd
Tailors, outfitters & hosiers
(with Davidson & Brown café upstairs in 1934,
Nynee's Tea Rooms in 1936, John Lambert café in 1937,
Miss Nina Lambert café in 1939–1940)


John Bell & Croyden
Surgical appliance makers (1941–1967)


A-Plan Protection Ltd
Insurance brokers
(jointly with No. 118)

117A: Manpower Employment Agency


Oxford University Press Bookshop

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 30 June, 2018

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