ST GILES’, OXFORD

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Nos. 65–67: Ioannou Centre


65-67 St Giles

No. 65 (on the right of the above picture) dates from the early eighteenth century, while Nos. 66/67 to the left were built in 1869 by George Wyatt in the Gothic style of the University Museum. All three are Grade II listed (No. 65 is List Entry No. 1246866. and Nos. 66/67 are 1047078).


No. 65

The original house on this site was given by Robert Abdy and William Prede to Balliol College in 1454, and the latter held it until 1804, when it was sold to Worcester College. For details of the house throughout this period, see H. E. Salter, Oxford Balliol Deeds, pp. 211–18. Here are some of the later lessees of Balliol:

  • 20 March 1502: Richard Bernyngham and Robert Lake, clerks
  • 13 June 1568: Richard Whytt, cook of Balliol College, and Elizabeth his wife
  • 18 April 1601: Leonard Maior, a musician, and Elizabeth his wife
  • 6 November 1622: Thomas Wyands, cordwainer
  • 22 March 1627/8 and 12 September 1649: Nicholas Day, whitebaker
  • 18 December 1663: Richard Day, whitebaker
  • 3 March 1696/7: William Ford of Newcastle-under-Lyme, clerk
  • 1 March 1708 and 1737/8: Jeremiah Franklin
  • 6 January 1752/3: his widow, Catherine Franklin
  • 2 June 1769: Henry Keene, Esq. of Ealing. It is probably Keene who remodelled the house.
  • 24 July 1777: Elizabeth Bentham, a widow

The house, which still has a late eighteenth-century open-well staircase, was altered and extended in about 1860, and altered again in the twentieth century.

In 1851 this house was uninhabited, but in 1861 it was occupied by Mrs Caroline Johnson, a widow of 39 of independent means, with six children aged between 2 and 9 and four house servants. In 1881 Charles Cripps the chemist, who had moved two doors up from No. 67 in 1867, was still here, with his wife, four young children, and a servant.


Nos. 66 and 67

This building has the last surviving Gothic Victorian shop front in Oxford, were praised lavishly In Jackson’s Oxford Journal of October 1868:

The chief improvement in St. Giles’s is the erection of the two very fine houses in place of the two old ones occupied by Mr. Cripps, chemist, and Mr. Levi, jeweller; and Mr. G. Wyatt, to whom the ground belongs, has certainly made the most of it. The two houses which he has erected will bear comparison with any in Oxford for solidity of material and originality and excellence of design. These two houses are splendidly built in stone, and throughout are constructed in a style of durability and completeness which is seldom seen in these days of rapid building and “railway contracts”. The staircases are of stone. The frontage is full of original design, being handsomely built and adorned with carvings of animals, birds, heads of human beings, &c., which reflect great credit on the skilled workmen Mr. Wyatt employs, one of whom drew up the plans, while another carved the stone. The whole work is a durable monument of local talent, wrought out by “cunning hands”, with something of the olden spirit of enthusiasm, when “clerks of works” were Secretaries of State, and when builders dwelt for years on the scene of their beloved labour. Mr. Cripps has removed next door to these new houses, and has had a new shop front put in, the windows set in handsome arches of stone, divided by elegant pillars of marble.

The set of heads above the first- and second-floor windows are thought to represent members of the Wyatt family.

No. 66

The early occupants of the original house on this site can be identified from Balliol College deeds relating to the house next door (No. 65), as it names the adjoining neighbours to the south. By 1696 this was the Hare & Hounds pub.

  • 13 June 1568: Tenement of Roger Huett
  • 18 April 1601: Tenement of William Prickett and a garden of William Munday
  • 6 November 1622, 18 December 1663: Tenement of Robert Butler and a garden of William Munday
  • 3 March 1696/7: Tenement in the tenure of William Wildgoose, and a garden now or late in the tenure of Thomas Annison, cook
  • 1 March 1737/8 and 6 January 1752/3: Tenement now or late in the tenure of John Wright Esq.
  • 2 June 1769, 24 July 1777: Tenement and garden in the tenure of Thomas Lucas

In 1830 the landlord was Isaac Archer, but by 1839 Mrs Hannah Archer had taken over. The 1841 census shows that she was aided by her 15-year old daughter Matilda. She appears to have been the last licensee, and by 1851 the building was in the occupation of the watchmaker Israel Levi and his wife Selina, both born in Poland, and a servant. They were still here in 1861, by which time they had been joined by their niece Edith Lazarus. It was demolished along with No. 65 in 1868, and a new house built on the site.

In 1881 the new house was occupied by Michael Matthews, an engraver, stationer & artist, his wife Mary, and their spinster daughter.

No. 67

In 1841 George Wyatt the ironmonger, who owned Nos. 66 and 67, lived in the house that was on this site with his wife Elizabeth, his son Thomas, aged 6, and a servant. By 1851 he had a different wife, Martha, and two little girls, and had moved a few doors down to 70 St Giles Street. He let out No. 67 for twenty years: in 1851 Ben Kench, a plumber, lived here with his wife and four daughters, and in 1861 Isaac West, the chemist lived here with his assistant Charles Cripps (who was soon to take over the business) and a servant. In 1867 Wyatt decided to pull down Nos. 66 and 67 and rebuilt them as they are today. He then moved back into the new No. 67 himself By 1881 he was dead, and the house was occupied by his widow, Mrs Martha Wyatt, who describes herself as an ironmonger. The business survived here until 1926.

From 1921 the upstairs of No. 67 was known as 67A. It was occupied by Mrs H.G.W. Drinkwater from 1921 to 1926 and Miss Grace Drinkwater from 1927 to 1940.

During 1940 the upstairs rooms became a small hotel. The Romanian writer Mircea Eliade wrote in his diary on 5 November 1940 that he was lodging in “Oxoniensis, Private Hotel, St Giles’s Street 67” and that he had been there since 15 September. This hotel was run by Miss A. C. Hobson, and she soon changed its name to the Ashmole Private Hotel. From 1952 to 1954 it was the Pickwick House Private Hotel, run by Mrs V.B. Forsythe.


The map below shows the three houses in 1876. No. 66 is tiny, with no back garden, while No. 67 has a fountain and a large outbuilding.

65-67 St Giles in 1876


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

Year

65 St Giles

66 St Giles

67 St Giles

1841–1846

Charles Atmore Ogilvie, D.D.

Hare & Hounds:
Hannah Maria Archer

George Wyatt
Ironmonger

1851

Uninhabited

Israel M. Levi
Watch & clock maker & cigar dealer (to 1861)

J.M. Levi
Silversmith

Ben Kench
Plumber & glazier

1852

Thomas Sear
Boot & Shoemaker

1861

Mrs M.J. Johnson

Isaac West

1867

J.B. Sedgefield

Charles Cripps
Chemist

1869–1890

Charles Cripps
Chemist & Druggist

Michael Angelo Alfred Matthews
Engraver, printer, & stationer

George Wyatt
Ironmonger
(Mrs Wyatt from 1872)


George Wyatt & Son
from 1884

Described as
Gas & water fitters, ironmongers,
bell-hangers, and electricians,
fishing tackle warehouse,
agents of Scottish Union
Insurance Co. until 1898


Described as
Builders & ironmongers
from 1899

(also at No. 74
1889–1893)

Tel. 211

1891

Francis Edward Webb
Electroplate, cutlery, & fancy goods; later jeweller

James Wylde
Dispensing chemist

1893

Ernest Henry Rogers
Dispensing chemist

1894–1902

Thomas Thurland
Dispensing chemist

1904

Bhojraj Khatanmal
Indian & oriental goods warehouse

1905

East India Hotel & Restaurant
(Mdme Kate Khatanmal)

1906–1913

W.H. Smith & Son
Booksellers

1914

Frederick Lionel Keith Loxley
Chemist

1921

Oxford Correspondence College Ltd

1922–1923

Dawson K. Bunn & Co.
Automobile agents

1924–1926

Layton Garages
Motor agents

1927–1954

Numerous organizations, including:
British Red Cross Society
Oxford Agricultural Society
Oxford Correspondence College Ltd
County Commercial School
Oxford Information Bureau
Oxford Society

John Blundell Ltd
Credit drapers

Upstairs at 67A:
Oxoniensis Private Hotel

(1941)

Ashmole Private Hotel
(1945–1949)

Pickwick House Private Hotel
(1952–1956)

1956

Barnett Library

1958

Taylor Institution annexe

1964

John Blundell Ltd
Credit drapers

1968–1976

Taylor Institution annexe

1977–1989

Unused

Sporadic use by Taylor Institution

1989–1994

Oxford University Libraries Automation Service

1994–2002

Oxford University Libraries
Automation Service

Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents and Department of Continuing Education

2002
to present

Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies

St Giles’ home

Stephanie Jenkins

Oxford History home