Marygold House

Marygold House

Marygold House is a large building occupying the south-west corner of Carfax. Several shops were demolished in c.1932 to make way for it: 121 St Aldate's Street, Boffin's Bakery on Carfax corner, and 1, 2 & 3 Queen Street. Because its entrance is on the corner, it is always listed under Carfax in Kelly's Directory.

Marygold House

The ground floor of the present building has always been a bank or building society:

  • From the early 1930s to 1941: Glyn Mills & Co, Bankers
  • By 1943 to 1966: Martin's Bank Ltd
  • By 1970 to the 1980s: Barclays Bank Ltd
  • By 1995: Abbey National.

Santander took over Abbey National in January 2010 and they still occupy the building.

Earlier buildings on this site
Swyndlestock or Swindlestock Tavern

This stood here in the fourteenth century, and was the place where the famous town-and-gown riot started on St Scholastica's Day in 1354/5. There is a plaque on the current building remembering the riots.

The Swyndlestock Tavern later became known as the Mermaid Tavern. For more information about its history and the people who leased it, see Salter, Oxford City Properties, pp. 155–9. Lessees included several Mayors of Oxford: Alderman William Noble (1581), Francis Harris (1611), and Anthony Hall (1674).

The Mermaid Tavern was demolished in 1708/9. In October 1709 the council reported on various people being appointed to treat with Mr Moreton's executors for the purchase of the ground on which the Mermaid Tavern lately stood for enlarging the Carfax market place and report back.

Between 1840 and 1847 the City put up some buildings on the cleared site for the police to use These were demolished in 1871 when the shop occupied by Boffin's bakery was built.

The article below was published in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 22 September 1900, and the illustration shows that the cellars, then occupied by the wine merchants Messrs Jones & Southam, were still intact. At that time the city council owned the building, and the reference to Merton College applies to the adjoining buildings.

Swindlestock Tavern in Jackson's Oxford Journal, 22 September 1900

Boffin's Bakery

By the end of the nineteenth century the baker & confectioner Alfred Boffin had shops at 107 High Street, 71 St Giles' Street, and here on the corner of Carfax. He was born in 1843, and at the time of the 1861 census he was aged 16 and living over the confectioner's shop of his father, James Boffin, at 109 High Street. By 1871 he was married with two children and was living at 34 St John Street, where the family employed two servants. In 1875 he became the first leaseholder of 5 Winchester Road and can be seen there in the 1881, 1891, and 1901 censuses. By 1911 he was described as a retired confectioner and living in a 15-roomed house at 85 Banbury Road. He died at 221 Woodstock Road, Oxford at the age of 94 in 1937. The bakery shops continued to thrive, and in 1966 their registered office was in Ferry Hinksey Road and there were branches at 35 Little Clarendon Street, 225 Banbury Road, and 1 & 2 South Parade.

The view down Queen Street

The images below show these old buildings in c.1932, just before they were demolished to make way for Marygold House:


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