Oxford History: The High


129: Virgin Money

127 and 129

No. 129 is the right-hand side of a building constructed in 1898. Wheatsheaf Passage runs down the middle of the building.


Jackson’s Oxford Journal for 16 October 1897 (p. 6d) records that Kingerlee were to build new business premises and warehouses on the site, with a new passage to the Wheatsheaf in the middle.


In the past the present No. 129 has been numbered 128 (with Kemp Hall being regarded as No. 129) and sometimes it is described as 128/9.


At the time of the 1861 census only a shop assistant was living over the premises. In 1871 the upstairs was occupied by the bookseller Thomas Laycock.

The earlier pair of shops on this site were demolished (along with the original Wheatsheaf Passage) in 1897. They are shown in the middle of the 1834 drawing below, marked “Russell Hobdell”.

Old houses at 126-130 High Street

English Heritage: No. 129 in 1911 (Fribourg & Treyer)

English Heritage: Nos. 126–130 in 1892

Occupiers of 129 High Street
Darker background = former building now demolished

By 1834– 1852+

H. B. Hobdell (1834, 1846); Emily Hobdell (1852), Watch & clock maker


Evans & Bracher, Tailors, hosiers, robe-makers, & hatters


Frederick Evans & Co., Robe-makers & men’s hosiers


Purnell, Phipps & Purnell, Tailors and robe makers


Manock & Ward, Cabinet makers, upholsterers, decorators


Fribourg & Treyer, Cigar importers & cigarette manufacturers
together with Evans & Evans Tobacconists from 1916


G. T. Jones & Co. Ltd.,
Wine merchants

Ace of Hearts Snack Bar (1939)
Noted Snack Bar (1940–1945)
Samsworth & Francis Café (1947)
Lantern Café (1949–1962)


Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society

Upstairs: Lantern Café (1949–1962),
Golden Lantern restaurant (1967–1968)
Bleu, Blanc Rouge (1970–1980+)

By 1998–2004

Alfred Marks, later renamed
Adecco Employment Bureau

Indian Garden Tandoori


West World Leather & Casual Wear


Northern Rock Bank


Upstairs: At Thai (+ Carfax Fish & Chips)

Planning application approved in 2017
to turn top three floors into flats (17/02641/FUL)


Virgin Money

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 28 November, 2017

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