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Oxford boundary markers: Sunnyside, 78 Banbury Road (1831?)


Stone in wall of 78 Banbury Road

 

Inscription illegible,
but apparently reads
T.W.
Mayor

Embedded in the garden wall of
Sunnyside, 78 Banbury Road
(former home of Sir James Murray
of the Oxford English Dictionary)

 

This stone may mark the municipal boundary of Oxford in 1830/1, but its date is very uncertain (see below)

 

James Murray's house Sunnyside was built in 1885, and the pre-existing stone must have been incorporated into his garden wall..

 

Not a listed structure

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boundary stones

This stone is described thus in 1886 by John Gilbert:

“On the other [east] side of the road, built in the front wall of one of the new houses immediately opposite, is stone No. 22. (T.W., Mayor, date hidden). This house, named 'Sunnyside' is build on the boundary line, which passes through it direct from stone No. 22 to stone No. 23 (a small one simply marked C.O.) in Mr Gee's garden, and nearly opposite the dwelling house.”

The only nineteenth-century Mayor of Oxford with the initials T.W. was Thomas Wyatt, Mayor in 1830/1. If Gilbert was wrong and the stone actually reads J.W., Mayor, it could date from the mayoralty in 1842/3 of James Wyatt, and it would then be the same date as the stone he records at the bottom of Hog Acre Meadow

Stephanie Jenkins, 2013