ST GILES’, OXFORD

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Yards and Alleys


East side of St Giles

This has no side roads, but in the nineteenth century it had the following yards or passages:

Eagle & Child Passage
Eagle & Child Passage in 2003

  • Windmill Lane or Yard (eight dwellings) was between the old houses numbered 24 (the Windmill Inn) and 25 in the 1840s and 1850s. It was lost when Nos. 24–26 were rebuilt as large lodging houses in the early 1860s, and the site is now occupied by the Mathematical Institute.
  • Adams Yard (presumably named after Robert Adams the butcher at No. 25 and comprising nine dwellings) was between the old houses numbered 25 and 26 in 1861. It suffered the same fate as Windmill Yard above
  • Boot Alley, listed in the 1841 census, appears to be the former name for Adams Yard. William Turner of Oxford did a drawing called “Windmill Lane and Boot Alley” in 1861, showing the houses from 22 to 30 St Giles Street
  • Grimsley’s Yard is remembered in a mid-nineteenth-century drawing entitled “St Giles near Grimsley’s Yard” (copy drawing at OPA No. 27968). Thomas Grimsley was a sculptor and patent roof and terracotta manufacturer at 76 St Giles in 1839, 10 St Giles from 1841 to 1851, and 27 St Giles from 1852 to 1861. The yard named after him was in the latter area, presumably between the original (smaller) No. 26 and 27. This yard vanished when No. 26 was rebuilt in the early 1860s
  • Lamb & Flag Passage. This still survives, running under the upper storey of the Lamb & Flag at No. 12 and continuing on to become Museum Road.

West side of St Giles

Wellington Place
Wellington Place in 2003

In the nineteenth century this was punctuated by one proper road (Alfred Street, now renamed Pusey Street) and the following four passages, all cul-de-sacs leading to small houses wedged behind the back gardens of St Giles:

  • Bridgwater’s Yard (between Nos. 33A and 34). This had three houses to the north and six to the south. No. 33A St Giles has since expanded southwards to close up the gap
  • Wellington Place (between No. 46 and the Eagle & Child). This had two large semi-detached houses on the north side, and nine small dwellings on the south side. The passage still exists
  • Eagle & Child Yard (between the Eagle & Child and No. 50). This opened out to a wide area behind the Eagle & Child with nine terraced houses to the north. The passage still exists
  • Drewett’s Yard (betwen Nos. 52 and 53). This had three terraced houses to the north and three to the south. It then extended further back and there were then five houses to the north and three to the south. The passage still exists

 

St Giles’ home

Stephanie Jenkins

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