6 (& 7) Holywell Street

6-7 Holywell Street

Grade II Listed Building: List entry number 1047265 (Nos. 6 & 7 listed jointly);
Rubble wall of c.1799 at rear of No. 7: List entry number 1299036

The whole front appears to be an eighteenth-century remodelling of a seventeenth-century house. Owned by Merton College.

This pair of houses has been one large house since the eighteenth century, and hence No. 8 has no front door.

Nos. ^ & 7 on 1876 map

The above extract from the 1876 OS map shows that Nos. 6 and 7 were then known as the Cardinal’s Hat, a name which survived into the twentieth century. The large back garden of this house also extended eastwards behind Nos. 2–5 Holywell Street, and was reached via the gateway to the west.

The Revd Charles Pourtales Golightly lived alone in this large house for at least forty years in the nineteenth century. A good description is given of the interior of the house in the following advertisement inserted by J. R. Mallam & Son in Jackson’s Oxford Journal for 10 November 1883, probably soon after Golightly (who died in 1885) had moved out:

THE LEASE of this commodious and desirable PRIVATE RESIDENCE to be sold.
THE HOUSE contains: —
IN THE BASEMENT — Extensive cellarage.
ON THE GROUND FLOOR. — Square pannelled entrance hall, stud, dining room, drawing room, butler’s pantry, w.c., servants’ hall, kitchen, and offices.
ON THE FIRST FLOOR — Library with folding doors, three bed rooms, two dressing rooms, and w.c.
ON THE SECOND FLOOR — Four convenient attics.
There is a large and productive walled Garden; also a small Garden, a Yard with carriage entrance from the street, and Buildings that have been and are easily re-convertable into a coach house and three-stalled stable.
(The Greenhouses, Forcing Pits, &c., are Tenant’s Fixtures, and should be taken to as such.)
The Property is held under Merton College, Oxford, for a term expiring in April, 1901. Ground Rent, £6 4s. Land Tax, £1 2s 6d.
There are at present held and occupied with the above Premises two large Vegetable Gardens, situated immediately at the back of and communicating with the same, which are held by a lease expiring in March, 1887, at a yearly rent of £15.
The Purchaser of the Premises shall have the option of taking these Gardens under the present Agreement.
Further particulars concerning price of Lease, &c., on application.
To a suitable Tenant the House might be Let at a yearly rental under an ordinary Agreement for the term of 17 years.

In March 1915, the Cardinal’s Hat, then the property of New College, was let out to accommodate 16 Belgian refugees. The Oxford Journal Illustrated of 17 March 1915 shows photographs of the exterior, one of the bedrooms, and the smoke-room.

6–7 Holywell Street in the censuses


Charles Golightly (35), a clergyman, lived here with one male and three female servants. Another clergyman, John Tinker (50), was staying at the house on census night.


No. 6
Charles Golightly
(43), now described as “Afternoon Lecturer at Hedington and not having cure of souls” was still here, with a footman and two female servants.

No. 7
John Brown
(43), a college servant, lived here with his laundress wife Emma (37) and their niece Emma Leader (9). They had a “servant of all work”


The Revd Golightly was evidently away, and the house was occupied by his housekeeper, butler, footman, and a general servant.


Charles P. Golightly (73), Clerk in Holy Orders, lived here alone. He had a graduate scholar of 23 visiting him, and two servants (a footman and housemaid).


Cardinal’s Hat
James Hart (51), a college servant, lived here with his wife Mary (45).


John Henry Medcraft (46), a college caretaker, lived here with his wife Mary Ann.


Occupants of 6 & 7 Holywell Street listed in directories etc.

Survey of Oxford

Frontage: 30 yds 0 ft 10 in
Mr L. Jennens


M. Phillips, Laundress
(according to Robson’s Commercial Directory, but perhaps refers to a building behind)


Revd Charles Pourtales Golightly


Rooms attached to New College


James Hart, college servant


John Henry Medcraft


William Rudd


Philip Edward Adams, ophthalmic surgeon

+ Cyril George Wood, ophthalmic surgeon,
and the Revd Frederick Arthur Cockin, Vicar of St Mary the Virgin, in 1936


Arthur C. L. Houlton and Victor Purvis
ophthalmic surgeons (consulting rooms)

+and J. P. Francis Lloyd from 1952


No listing

Planning application 67/18743/A_H
Change of use from dwelling house to students’ hostel with alterations


No listing

At 7 & 6 Holywell today

Merton College annexe

Holywell home

© Stephanie Jenkins

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