HOLYWELL, OXFORD

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Mansfield Road (was 22–23 Holywell Street/Park Place)


21-23 Mansfield Road

Nos. 22 and 23 Holywell Street were demolished in about 1891, to make way for a new wide road. Between 1891 and 1898 Mansfield Road was built in two sections to link Holywell Street and South Parks Road. It was named after Mansfield College at its north-west end (where building started in 1886); but it also gave proper access to Manchester College (built on vacant land behind 24 and 28 Holywell Street in 1891–3). Both these permanent private halls are now full colleges of the University of Oxford (with the latter renamed Harris Manchester College).

Site of Mansfield Road in 1876

 

All the houses behind Holywell Street on the west side of Park Place, as well as those set back-to-back with them in Brazier’s Yard (accessed between Nos. 23 and 24), also had to be demolished.

The 1876 OS map (left) shows the area before Mansfield Road was built. In the south-east corner is No. 20/21, which still survives.

It was easy to create an opening here: Park Place, the two houses to the west (Nos. 22 and 23) and the opening to Brazier’s Yard to the west again were quite detached from adjoining houses.

At the time of the Survey of Oxford there was a gateway with a frontage of 6 yds 0 ft 10 in lying between Nos. 21 and 22 ( Mr Johnson) which was also taken into the road: this led to Park Place.

Park Place was known as Pinfold’s Yard in 1841, and presumably belonging to John Pinfold, the butcher at No. 19. Pinfold was still farming in Holywell as late as 1840.

Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 11 October 1890 reported:

The College [Manchester, then based in the High Street] has purchased from Merton College land between Holywell-street and the field road known as Love-lane, but which is presently to be laid out as a wide street. The projected Mansfield-road from Holywell-street past the Mansfield College Estate gives frontage to the new buildings.

The plan a few years later to extend Mansfield Road right up to the present South Parks Road incorporating Love Lane, which ran northwards from Mansfield College, was not popular with the parishioners of Holywell, and at a Vestry meeting on 26 January 1894 the following “memorial” was drawn up for presentation to the city council:

We, the ratepayers of the Parish of Holywell in Vestry … beg leave to submit as follows…. That the said footpath (Love Lane) affords a short and convenient means of access to Church Street [i.e. St Cross Road] and Long Wall Street, from the north end of the Parish…. That the proposed new carriage road is not really needed for public purposes … the improvement would be dearly purchased if it entailed the removal from the Parish of several of its poorer families…. We believe that the unconditional assent of the Council to the closing of Park Passage would favour the further demolition of buildings and the removal of their occupants to distant parts of Oxford…. We therefore respectfully urge that the assent of the Council should be given conditionally as follows:— … The closing of Park Passage (if at all) to take place subject to a provision for the erection at or near that spot of dwellings suitable to the means of working class tenants….

The modified scheme was approved by the council on 7 March 1894, and Jackson’s Oxford Journal reported:

As to the improvement itself no-one, we think, can entertain any doubt; it will substitute a wide well planted and handsome road in the place of Love Lane, which is only eight feet wide, unlighted and bordered by a hideous wire palisade….

Mansfield College in 1905
Mansfield College, after which the road was named, with annotation made in 1906

No. 22
1841

William Pratley (40), a groom, lived here with Mary (35) and William (4), Elizabeth (5), Mary (2), and Catherine (2 months). The family had two lodgers.

1851

The house is described as “Holywell Street No. 22 or Park Place No. 1, suggesting that its entrance was at the side. It was occupied by Elizabeth Molyneau (40), the wife of a college porter who was not at home, an their children John (19), Arthur (16), Elizabeth (14), William (12), Matthew (10), Mary Ann (6), and Louisa (4).

1861

John Molineux (58), a college servant, lived here with his wife Elizabeth (5) and his children William (21) and Matthew (20), who were both hosier’s assistants, and his daughters Mary (16) and Louisa (14), who were respectively a dressmaker and a scholar.

1881

William Price (65), a boot closer, lived here with his wife Eliza (49) and his daughter Eliza (19). They had four lodgers: a dressmaker, a college bedmaker, a college butler’s assistant, and a cordwainer.


Park Place
1841 (then known as Pinfold’s Yard)

Mary Baker (65), a laundress, lived here with George (25), who was a carver & gilder; Elizabeth (25), who was a laundress; and Mary Ann (2).

Henry Osborne (30), a painter, lived here with his wife Sarah (25) and daughter Sarah (3). A shoemaker lodged with them.

Sarah Poole (65), a laundress, lived here with Eliza Poole (16) and one female servant.

Elizabeth Molyneaux (30), who is described as a college servant (but this may refer to her absent husband, John, who was a servant at Brasenose College) lived here with John (9), Arthur (7), Elizabeth (4), William (2), and Matthew (4 months). A lodger and a 13-year-old servant girls lived with them.

Thomas Hanneford Guilder or Gilder (60), a carpenter, lived here with Richard (25), who was a printer; Edwin (20), who was a joiner; Margaret (20), who was a dressmaker; and Thirsa (15).

Thomas Kinch (40), an agricultural labourer, lived here with Susannah (40), Jane (8), Edward (3), and Ellen (6 months).

George George (20), a male servant, lived here with Ann (20), and a second family: Sarah Hedges (50) with Rachael (20), John (15), Thomas (13), and Rosetta (11).

1851

1 Park Place: See No. 22 Holywell Street above.

2 Park Place: William Price (35), a boot closer, lived here with his wife Mary (32), who was a laundress, and their daughter Sylvia (10 months). Also living with them were his niece Mary (21) and widowed mother Mary Baker (77), both of whom were also laundresses.

3 Park Place: Henry Osborne (43), a painter, lived here with his wife Sarah (39), who was a laundress, and their children Sarah (13), Jane (11), Martha (8), Henry (6), and Harriet (4).

4 Park Place Ann Hutton (51), a widowed laundress, lived here with her servant.

5 Park Place: Susannah Pool (51), a widowed laundress, lived here with her daughter Susannah (14). In the same house was Benjamin Whitlock (47), who was a coachman, his wife Rebecca (45), and his nephew William Wellington (4).

6 Park Place: William Gawthorn (57), a widowed tailor, lived here with his daughter Emily (16) and his unmarried sister-in-law Mary Hounslow (57), who was a schoolmistress.

7 Park Place: Thomas Kench (50), a gardener’s labourer, lived here with his wife Susan (50) and their children Jane (18), George (15), Edward (11), and Helen (9). There were two other households in this dwelling: James Blay (30), an unmarried college servant, and his sister Elizabeth (34), a cook; and Henry Cox (69), an annuitant.

8 Park Place: George Jones (38), a college servant, lived here with his wife Ursula (43) and their children George (10), William (8), John (6), Charles (4), and Ellen (2), and their niece Martha Osborne (13).

1861

No. 1: Jane Burrows (45), a widowed mangler, lived here with her children Jane (12) and Joseph (9), her aunt Mary Hurley (a widow of 83) and two lodgers (a college servant and a house painter).

No. 2: Henry Osborne (53), a house painter, lived here with his wife Sarah (49) and daughters Sarah (22) and Martha (18), all of whom were laundresses; his son Henry 16, who was a printer compositor; his three younger children Harriet (14), William (9), and Eliza (6), who were all at school; and his granddaughter Emma Osborne (1).

No. 3: Ann Fletcher(63), a widowed laundress, lived here with her servant Martha Hunt (31).

No. 4: Susannah Poole (a widow of 60) lived here with her daughter Susan (24): both were laundresses.

No. 5: Jane Norton (40), a widowed seamstress, lived here with her son George (13), who was at school.

No. 6: John James (52), a servant, lived here with his wife Christina (42) and his children Thomas (17), who was a printer compositor, and Amanda (13) and William (8), who were at school.

No. 7: George Jones (48), a college servant, lived here with his wife Ursula (53) and his children George (19), who was a servant; William (17), who was a printer compositor; John (15), who was a servant; and Ursula (11), who was at school.

1881

No. 1: Anthony Woods (31), a cabman, lived here with his wife Kate (21).

No. 2: James Farrant (62), a gardener, lived here with his wife Lucy (60).

No. 3: George W. Wernham (46), a college bedmaker, lived here with his wife Esther and his children Ada (17), who was a governess, Alice (14), and Rosa (7). They had a butler lodging with them.

No. 4: Ann Day (69), a lodging house keeper, lived here with three lodgers: a college bedmaker and his wife, and a 68-year-old widow.

No. 5: Christina James (68) still lived here, and was now a widow and described a lodging house keeper. Her lodgers were a city missionary and a grocer’s assistant.

No. 6: George Greening (42), a coachman, lived here with his wife Emma (44) and his children William (15), who was a groom, George (12), Ellen (10), Alfred (7), and Evelyn (4).

No. 7: Jane Cater (58), a widowed dressmaker, lived here with three lodgers: a retired publican, a tailor, and a hairdresser’s assistant.


No. 23
1841

John Simms (30), a shoe maker, lived here with Clara (30) and George (11), James (9), Elizabeth (8), Maria (6), Louisa (4), and Arthur (1). The family had one female servant.

1851

Joseph Merritt (31), an unmarried tailor occasionally employing another man, lived here with his sister Mary (18). There was a second household in the same dwelling: John Lovegrove (49), a college servant, and his wife Maria (39) and their son Charles (13),

1861

George Lively (32), a sawyer, lived here with his wife Ann and sons Thomas (3) and John (10 months). They had a tailoress as a lodger (listed at the end of the street).

1881

John Herbert (49), a cabinet maker employing two men, three apprentices, and one boy, lived here with his wife Mary (51) and his unmarried sister Elizabeth (56), who was a college servant.


Brazier’s Yard
1841

Sarah Such (70), “poor”.

Sarah Beesley (30), laundress, with an independent lady of 55 and a child of 4.

Mary Yateman (70), “poor”.

George Hounslow (60), plasterer, with George (30), Philip (25) and William (25), all shoemakers.

Robert Burden (30), a servant, with Ann (30), Mary Ann (6), William (4), and Jane (1).
(Little Jane Burden was to become the famous Pre-Raphaelite Muse.)

1851

No. 1
William Thomas (73), a farm labourer, lived here with his wife Sarah (65), who was a washerwoman. They had a lodger aged 85 who was a mangle woman.

No. 2
Eliza Fletcher
(42), a widowed charwoman, lived here with her son Charles (14), who was a scholar.

No. 3
Martha Brewster
(35), a widowed needlewoman, lived here with her children William (12) and Martha (7).

No. 4
George Hounslow
(73), a widowed journeyman plasterer, lived here with his son Philip (39), an unmarried cordwainer, and his married son William (35), also a cordwainer, and William’s wife Caroline 930) and daughters Amelia (2) and Louisa (1).

1861

Richard Minchen (a widower of 48), a labourer, lived here alone.

William Parker (52), a carpenter of 52 lived here with his wife Elizabeth (5) and his children Tom (15), who was a shopboy and Selena (9), who was at school.

Joseph Coombs (58), a stableman, lived here with his wife Emma (70), who was a charwoman.

Jane Adams (66), a widow, lived here with her unmarried daughter Jane (30).

Sarah Newman (45), a widowed laundress, lived here with her children Frances (15), William (13), Thomas (10), George (8), Henry (6), Charles (4), Edward (3), and Robert (1).

1881

No. 1: There were three small households in this dwelling: (1) George Cox (87), a bell-founder; (2) Harriet Webb (63), a laundress; and (3) Joseph Coombs (80), an unemployed stableman, and his wife Emma (82).

No. 2: Samuel Barnett (68), a stonemason, lived here with his wife Sarah (75).

No. 3: Elizabeth Fortescue (33), a widowed charwoman, lived here with his daughters Fanny (8) and Grace (6).

No. 4: Isaac Richards (62), a footman, lived here with his wife Charlotte (60), a tailoress.

Occupants of the former houses at 22–23 Holywell Street listed in directories etc.

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No. 23 (left)

No. 22 (right)

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1772
Survey of Oxford

Frontage: 5 yds 0 ft 3 in
Mr Brooks

Frontage: 3 yds 1 ft 0 in
Mrs Jackson

1839

John Simms
Boot & shoe maker

No listing

1841

William Pratley
Groom
(at No. 24 in 1852)

1846

Joseph Merrit
Tailor

1851

John Molineux
or Molyneaux
College servant

1861

Census: George Lively, sawyer
Directory: Daniel Page

1866–1876

John Herbert
General shop to 1876

John Herbert
Cabinet maker & upholsterer from 1884

William Rivill Price
Boot closer

1881

1884–1887

C. Stapleton
Boot & shoe maker

Since 1891

Mansfield Road

The only person listed in Park Place in Hunt’s 1846 directory is T. Henneford Gilder, a carpenter.

Oxford Directory of 1871:

Park Place (between 21 and 22)
2. Mrs Osborne
3. George Tarrant
4. Miss Hunt
     William Ellard
5. Mrs Poole
6. Mrs Norton
7. Mrs James
8. George E. Buckett

Brazier’s Yard (between 23 and 24)
1. Mrs Parker
2. Mrs Jones
3. John Gardener

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© Stephanie Jenkins

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