Oxford Ghost Signs: Archer Cowley Ltd, 36–39 Park End Street

Cantay House

The huge building above has the word CANTAY in the gable on the left and DEPOSITORIES in the gable on the right. The mosaic (below) with the word OFFICE has also survived at the customer entrance at the right-hand corner. Also Archer Cowley & Co is etched on a window on the western side.

Cantay mosaid

Archer Cowley advertisement, 1930

On 12 October 1901 Jackson’s Oxford Journal reported that two commodious shops with warehouses over for Messrs James Archer & Co., furniture removers, were in course of erection. This is Cantay House at 36, 37, 38, and 39 Park End Street, Oxford which was originally the warehouse of Archer, Cowley & Co, furniture removers based at 36 & 37 Pembroke Street.

Situated conveniently near the railway station, the building had 4,000 square feet of storage space and fireproof doors, and its floors and staircases were made of reinforced concrete.


The advertisement on the right is from Kelly’s Directory for 1930, and boasts that these warehouses had a capacity of over 750,000 cubic feet. This advertisement first appeared in the 1920s, when the telephone number was a digit shorter (397).


Archer Cowley remained on these premises until the 1980s.


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Stephanie Jenkins