Oxford History: The High


130: Vacant

130 High Street

No. 130 has one of the oldest fronts in the High, dating from the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century. The extra floor in behind was added in the seventeenth century and has since been altered.

The building was condemned in 1929, but the front was preserved and a new building made at the back; the latter, however, was damaged by fire within a few months.

This is a Grade II listed building (List Entry No. 1369390). It was in the parish of All Saints until that church was deconsecrated in 1971.

In 1697 the property was left to the City of Oxford for the benefit of poor widows, and on 1 July 1927 its freehold was acquired by Oxford City Council from the Trustees of the Municipal Charities of the City of Oxford. It is still in the ownership of the council.



Below: No. 130 can be seen looking much as it does today on the right of the drawing below as it was in 1834, when it was Carter’s Fish shop. There is a passage on the left-hand side of the shop leading to Kemp Hall behind, and this was formerly known as Carter’s Passage.

126-130 High Street

No. 130 was owned from about 1600 by William Boswell, a mercer who became Mayor in 1622 and an Alderman in 1627. In 1637 Boswell built a fine new house for himself (Kemp Hall) in the long narrow back garden of No. 130, but died the next year, leaving both shop and house to his son, Dr William Boswell, DCL. When the latter died in 1678 it passed to his nephew, a third William Boswell, who in 1689 sold No. 130 to Thomas Reeve, tobacco pipe maker. He in turn left it to the City in 1697 for the benefit of poor widows.

In 1772 a survey of every house in the city was taken in consequence of the Mileways Act of 1771. No. 130 was then in the occupation of a Mr Cosier (patently not a poor widow), and its frontage measured 8 yards 2 feet 10 inches.

The Carter family had a fish shop here for many years. A John Carter was already paying rent in All Saints parish in 1818, and in 1835 his yearly rent was 6/-. In 1826 Mrs K. Carter, the widow of Mr W. Carter, fishmonger died here.

The 1851 census shows John Carter and his wife Lydia living over the shop with their two sons (another John, also a fishmonger, and Charles, a college servant) and three daughters, Lydia, Lucy, and Emily. It still belonged to Reeves’ Charity, and was then let out at a rack rental of £60. But by the time of the 1861 census Carter was dead, and his wife was running the fish shop. She was still there in 1871 and 1881 with her two unmarried daughters Lydia and Emily, who ran the shop themselves from 1872. Emily still lived here alone with one servant in 1901.

At the time of the 1911 census Richard Goldney (64), described as a fishmonger's manager, lived in the seven rooms over No. 130 with his wife and two children.

When the fishmonger (who latterly also sold game) eventually moved out in 1929, the tobacconist from next door moved in.

Picture on English Heritage site of 126–130 High Street in 1892

Occupiers of 130 High Street

By 1818 to 1929

Carter, Fishmonger
John Carter by 1839 to at least 1853
Mrs Carter (also a Brushmaker)
from before 1861 to 1867
George Carter from 1869 to 1871
Miss Lydia Carter from 1872 to 1929


Evans & Evans, Tobacconist

Fribourg & Treyer, Cigar importers & cigarette manufacturers




North of England Building Society/Central Business Agency & Central Estates

Fribourg & Treyer, Cigar importers and tobacconists

Upstairs: Studio Edmark, Photographers and dental surgery


Ward's Tobacconists

By 1996–2003

Oxford Campus Stores


White Stuff [moved to Westgate Centre]



©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 19 July, 2018

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