Tower House, 45 Queen Street

Tower House

The last shop in Queen Street, No. 45, adjoins St Martin's Tower, and is appropriately known as the Tower House. It is a Grade II listed building (List Entry 1047184). It is currently (2021) occupied by Montezuma's Chocolate.

It was built in 1896, the year St Martin's Church was demolished except for its tower, and was designed by H. T. Hare, who was also the architect of Oxford's Town Hall.

In Kelly's Directory for 1899 Miss Louie Tompson is listed as the manager of the Café Royale in this building, with the auctioneer James Hastings in the offices upstairs. In fact, though Louie had become the second wife of Henry Stephen Kingerlee near the end of 1898.

By 1915 this building was occupied by Alfred Ballard, a watch & clock maker and jeweller. As the photograph below shows, he was for a time also Optician to the Eye Hospital. He was still here in 1976.

Ballard optician

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© Stephanie Jenkins