ST GILES’, OXFORD

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Nos. 62–64: Blackfriars


Blackfriars

62-64 St Giles

 

The photograph on the left shows the block of three houses numbered (right to left) 62, 63, and 64 St Giles that were demolished to make way for Blackfriars, a Dominican priory on the corner of Pusey Street, built by Dorian Webb in 1921–9 in a late-seventeenth-century style.

Pevsner describes it as a “domestic looking façade of late C17 character, with cross-windows and a pediment not in the centre”.

Blackfriars also took the land to the right of this group of houses, attaching itself to Pusey House to the north.

It is a listed building (List Entry No. 1380933)

 

Professor James Adey Ogle lived at No. 63 and 64 St Giles, and during the period in which he was Aldrichian Professor of Medicine (1824–1851) he gave his lectures at this house.

His next-door neighbour at No. 62 was John Marriott Davenport, a solicitor who was Clerk of the Peace for the County of Oxford from 1831 and 1881; Secretary to two successive Bishops of Oxford; and District Registrar of the Court of Probate. He died at this house on 31 January 1882, and Mrs Davenport continued to live here until 1916.

Below: A postcard of Blackfriars published in 1933 Blackfriars in 1933

Dominican friars first founded a house in Oxford in 1221, and when Father Bede Jarrett was elected Provincial of the English Province in 1916, he was determined to build another Dominican priory in Oxford. He planned for a community of a hundred at an estimated cost of £100,000, and helped by his American friends (especially Mrs Jefferson Tytus) he was able to purchase 62, 63, and 64 St Giles.

The chapel and priory were opened in 1929, but the latter was not completed until 1954 (twenty years after Father Bede’s death).

It is now a permanent private hall of the University of Oxford.

Occupants listed in censuses and directories
(grey background = earlier building)

Date

62 St Giles

63 St Giles

64 St Giles

1839

James Adey Ogle
Physician

1841–1852

John Marriott
Davenport

Attorney

James Adey Ogle
Physician

1861–1874

Rev. John  Griffiths
Keeper of the
University  Archives

Henry John Stephen Smith
Professor of Geometry

1876–1880

Samuel Vines

1882–1884

Mrs Davenport

C. L. Shadwell
Fellow of Oriel College

1887

Archer Robert
Tawney, D.L., J.P.

1889–1890

Rev. Canon George Rawlinson

1891–1893

Rev. Charles Henry Bickerton Hudson

1894

Mrs Tawney

Walter H. Pater

1895–1900

Robert W. Doyne, FRCS
Surgeon

1902–1904

D. Sanford-Barton
Dental surgeon

Vacant

1905–1908

Rev. Henry Herbert Williams
Fellow & Lecturer,
Hertford College,
and Chaplain of
Wadham College

1909–1910

John Wood
Surgeon

1911

Mrs Sanford-Barton

James Pettey
Dentist

1913–1916

Girls’ Friendly Society

Lodge & Hostel

1918–1919

Vacant

Vacant

1921

Ministry of Pensions
Medical Board

1922

Vacant

Blackfriars

1923–1929

Blackfriars (The Dominican Fathers)
Rev. Aidan Elrington, O.P, D.Sc., superior

1929–present

Blackfriars

No. 62

The 1851 census shows John Marriott Davenport, solicitor and Clerk of the Peace, in residence with his wife and his children Thomas, Susanna, Edward, Francis, and Alfred, plus four servants. He was still here in 1861, with Thomas now an undergraduate of 19 and a new young son, Arthur, waited on by a cook, housemaid, nursemaid, and footman. In 1881 he and his wife were still there with his daughter Susanna.

No. 63:

Dr James Adey Ogle (1792–1857) lived in this house, probably from the time that he was appointed Physician to the Radcliffe Infirmary in 1824. He was first elected Aldrichian Professor of Medicine, and then in 1830 Professor of Clinical Medicine, and gave his lectures in this house. Ogle’s wife died in 1835, leaving him with one son and five daughters, and they can all be seen at this house in the 1841 census, looked after by five servants; by then he also occupied No. 64 next door. He was still here in 1851, with three unmarried daughters at home. He was Regius Professor of Medicine from 1851 until his death in 1857. By 1861 the house was occupied by John Griffiths, an unmarried Clerk in Holy Orders, his spinster sister, and their two servants.

No. 64

The early occupants of the original house on this site can be identified from Balliol College deeds for No. 68, which list the next-door neighbours to the north. The house was in the tenure of Richard Needle in 1601 and 1663. From 1697 to 1777 it is described as a Quaker meeting house,as well as having various occupants: Edward Spender in 1697, Mary Fletcher in 1708 (late in her tenure in 1737), and Major Hargreave in 1769 and 1777.

In 1841 Dr Ogle had this house, but it was empty in 1851, when he had retreated back into No. 63. In 1861 Miss Eleanor Elizabeth Smith, a fundholder, was at home with two servants.

St Giles’ home

Stephanie Jenkins

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