Oxford History: The High


135: Reiss/Café Zouk

135 High Street

No. 135 dates from the early eighteenth century. It is a Grade II listed building (List Entry No. 1186742).

In 1679 Elinor Sylvester, who had a house on this site, was “burnt out and built a new”, but it is uncertain whether the core of the present house is that of the 1679 building.

In 1696 Matthew Pinnell paid tax on 16 windows here.

In 1772 a survey of every house in the city was taken in consequence of the Mileways Act of 1771. No. 135 was then in the occupation of a Mr Munday, and its frontage measured 6 yards 1 foot 11 inches.

The first occupant of the new house on this site in the eighteenth century appears to have been the goldsmith Samuel Wilkins, and later his nephew of the same name.

In 1759 Edward Lock the goldsmith had a shop here which was much frequented by Parson Woodforde. In the 1790s Lock opened a bank in this shop.

At the time of the 1851 census Franklin Thomas, the upholsterer here, lived over the shop with his wife and four children, three servants, and an undergraduate lodger. In 1861 it was occupied by the upholsterer Richard Embling and his wife, together with his apprentice cabinet-maker and a servant. Only the servants were at home at the time of the 1871 census.

The building was bought by the University of Oxford in 1947.

Occupiers of 135 High Street


135 High Street downstairs

135 High Street upstairs


Edward Lock, Goldsmith & Jeweller


William Payne, Cabinet maker

By 1846–1852+

Franklin Thomas, Upholsterer


Richard Embling (later Embling & Co.)

Lodgings (Keen’s 1869, Hippey’s 1873)


S. Baker & Son
Merchant tailors & juvenile outfitters

Lodgings (Mrs Bancalari)


Lomman & Preston
(later Lonman & Co)

Lodgings to 1914
(Miss Barefoot, Miss Collier, Miss Annis,
Miss Griffin, Henry Stiles, Frederick Ivatt)

Refreshment Rooms
(Sidney Slay)

1925 only:
The Swiss Restaurant


Town & Gown Restaurant


A. Baker & Co. Ltd
Tobacconists (1934–1945)

Finlay & Co.
Tobacconists (1947–1976+)


Oxford Blues

Gate of India



West World Leather & Casual Wear
(with Carfax Fish & Chips behind)

Shemon’s Indian Cuisine (to 2002)


Café Zouk


(with Carfax Fish & Chips behind)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 19 January, 2017

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