ST GILES’, OXFORD

Back
Forwards

No. 52: St Giles’ Café


52 St Giles

 

The present house at No. 52 was built in 1868. It is a Grade II listed building (List Entry No. 1047107).

The 1772 survey shows the frontage of the earlier house on this narrow site as being exactly 4 yards: it was then in the occupation of Mr Green junior.

Mrs Mary Whitbread ran a registry office for servants in the former house on this site: at the time of the 1861 census, she was a widow of 56 and lived here with her son Alfred, a 17-year-old lawyer’s office clerk, and a lodger.

Jackson’s Oxford Journal reported in 1868: “In St Giles’s a neat house has been built in place of the quaint old tenement occupied by Mrs. Whitbread. Of this Mr. J. Curtis, Pembroke-street, was the builder, the plans being furnished by Mr. Tanner, a gentleman in the Oxford office of Mr. Buckeridge.”

The first occupant of the present building was the Polish watchmaker & jeweller, Israel Levi, whose former shop at 66 St Giles’ Street was demolished in 1868, the same year that this shop was built. The 1881 census shows him still working here at the age of 65, and living with his wife and a young servant.

Occupants of 52 St Giles’ Street listed in censuses and directories
(grey background = earlier building)

1839

Elizabeth Howell
Baby linen warehouse, and Milliner & dressmaker

1841–1846

Thomas Bennett
Bootmaker

1861–1867

Mrs Whitbread
Register Office

1869–1890

Israel Maurice Levi
Watch maker & jeweller

1891

Mrs Goward
Milliner

1893–1894

Mrs Mary Dawson
Binsey Dairy Supply

1895

F. Hobday
Tobacconist

1896–1912

Frank Matthews
Tobacconist
(Mrs Matthews from 1911)

1913–1922

Colin Lunn
Cigar merchant & tobacconist

1923–1936

Wingate Melson Ltd
Opticians

1937–present

St Giles Café

St Giles’ home

Stephanie Jenkins

Oxford History home