LONG WALL STREET, OXFORD

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8 Long Wall Street


8 Longwall Street

No. 8 Long Wall Street dates from shortly before 1734 according to Oxford city rentals (although Historic England says it probably dates from the late seventeenth century and was remodelled in the mid-eighteenth century). The house had a fine garden, occupying the site of Bodicote House to the north. It is a Grade II Listed Building (1047215).

This house was owned by City of Oxford until 1921, when it was granted to New College by an exchange.

Historic photograph of this house

On 1 April 1720 the City granted a lease to the widow Mary Bourton of the piece of land on which this house stands. It was then configured differently from today (see below), being 104 feet wide north to south, and 22 feet east to west. It was then bounded as follows:

  • West side: New College wall
  • East side: “The common shoar” (the town ditch, which then ran down the west side of Longwall Street)
  • North side: Thomas Minn
  • South side: A stable occuped by Mary Bourton.

On 1 April 1734 a lease was granted to the ostler Thomas Moor of this same parcel of ground, upon which there was now a newly erected tenement and brewhouse.

On 12 August 1748 a lease was granted to the butler Richard Weller, and on 4 May 1762 to the widow Mary Weller, the latter being renewed in 1776.


The Gutch family, 1790–1882

On 1 May 1790 a lease of this property was granted to the Revd John Gutch, who had been the Chaplain of All Souls College since 1770. He was Rector of St Clement’s Church in Oxford from 1795, and Registrar of the University of Oxford between 1797 and 1824. His lease was renewed in 1804.

On 17 January 1809 there was an exchange between the City and the ironmonger Simon Brown, whereby the City gave part of the holding leased to John Gutch and received adjacent land, the freehold of John Brown. On 1 May that year the City granted another lease to John Gutch, and this was renewed in 1818.

John Gutch died here at the age of 85 on 1 July 1831, and on 29 November 1832 a lease was granted to his three executors, John Gutch, Robert Gutch, and George Gutch. His three unmarried daughters continued to live in the house, and the last of his twelve children, Sarah Gutch, died here at the age of 90 on 23 December 1882.


Following the death of the last Miss Gutch, the Oxford Town Council’s Property-in-Hand Committee agreed to the following report on this house, which appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal for 29 September 1883:

This Committee reported that after having viewed the property, No. 8, Long Wall-street, they endeavoured to let the house in its present condition, but without success; they then instructed the City Surveyor to prepare plans for the re-modelling of the interior of the premises, and invited tenders for the execution of the work; and they recommend that Mr. Hutchings’s tender, amounting to 454l., being the lowest, be accepted, and the works carried out accordingly…. Ald. HUGHES said no one was more against spending the money on this house than he had been, but, as it was the only way of making it letable, he had voted for the acceptance of the lowest tender.

Following the repairs, Charles Horn ran a lodging house here until 1914. Four famous Balliol students, all of whom lost their lives during the First World War, lodged here in c.1908–1910:

  • Julian Grenfell (1888–1915), son of Lord Desborough, and one of the war poets
  • Edward Horner (1888–1917). son of Sir John & Lady Horner
  • Charles Lister (1887–1915), son of the 4th Lord Ribblesdale
  • Patrick Shaw-Stewart (1888–1917), son of Major-General John Heron Maxwell Shaw Stewart, and one of the war poets

Occupants of 8 Long Wall Street listed in directories etc.

Before 1831–
1882

The Revd Gutch (to 1831)

The Misses Gutch

1889–1914

Charles Horn or Horne
University Lodging House

1928–1936

Francis Henry Dickson, M.B., Ch.B.Edin,
Physician & surgeon, & medical officer for No. 2 District, Oxford Public Assistance Committee

Norman Henry Hall Longton, M.B., Ch.B., M.R.C.S.
Physician & Surgeon

1947–1956

Henry E. Bell
Tutor and subwarden, New College

1958–1960

Kenneth A. H. Gravett
Fellow of New College

1962–1967

Number listed, but no name given

1970–1973

Peter G. Dickens

1976

No listing

At 8 Long Wall
Street today

New College annexe

8 Long Wall Street in the censuses

1841

The 1841 census does not give house numbers, but it is possible to give a tentative assignment based on census order and known inhabitants

The three unmarried daughters of the late Revd Gutch (Elizabeth, Sophia, and Sarah) lived here with two servants.

1851

Elizabeth Gutch (72), Sophia Gutch (66) and Sarah Gutch (58), who were all described as Gentlewomen and joint proprietors of houses and of dividends, still lived here, and were joined by their widowed sister Mrs Frances Barars (56), who was described as a land proprietor and fund holder. They had two female servants.

1861

Sophia Gutch (76) still lived here with her sister Sarah Gutch (68): both were described as independent. They had a cook and a housemaid.

1871

Sophia Gutch (86) lived here with her sister Sarah Gutch (78). They had two servants.

1881

Elizabeth Gutch (88), the eldest and longest-lived of the Revd Gutch’s daughters, still lived here with a cook and a housemaid.

1891

Charles Horn (34), a printer & compositor, lived here with his wife Jane (35). They had one servant.

1901

Charles Horn (44), a printer & compositor, still lived here with his wife Jane (45). They had three boarders and one servant.

1911

Charles Horn and his wife Jane (both 59 and now described as lodging-house keepers) still lived here.

Long Wall home

© Stephanie Jenkins

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