Oxford Ghost Signs

The definition of a ghost sign varies: purists would say that it is an obsolete, faded, hand-painted advertising sign on the brickwork of a building that has probably long had another use: What is a Ghost Sign? (PDF) goes into far more detail. The list below is less restrictive and includes engraved stonework, mosaics, and metal commercial signs .


Lion Brewery Gates

Central Oxford
East Oxford
South Oxford
West Oxford
North Oxford (including Walton Manor and Summertown)
Brewery signs
Temporary reappearances

When buildings are being refurbished there an old sign can reappear temporarily, as shown for example in this photograph of 95 London Road in Headington taken on 4 January 2023. The Oxford Orthodontic Centre in preparing to move to the ground floor removed the Pen to Paper sign ready to put up its own, revealing in the process a Fleece Carpets sign dating from c.1993.

Fleece Carpets

Pupil Teachers' Centre

There are other stone inscriptions that show the former use of non-commercial institutional buildings that are not included here, and many of these can be found both in the Schools and the Inscriptions sections of this website.

Left: Example in New Inn Hall Street

More ghost signs in Oxford by Owen Massey McKnight

Stephanie Jenkins