Oxford History: The High


32: Warden’s House, All Souls College

Warden’s House, All Souls College

This house for the Warden of All Souls College was built in 1704–6 by Dr George Clark (1661–1736), Fellow and Benefactor. It was refronted in 1876–7 by David Robertson. It is jointly Grade II listed with the range to the east (List Entry No. 1046757). It has always been in the parish of St Mary-the-Virgin.

The engraving below shows the Warden's House in 1834:

33 to 38 High Street in 1834

In 1881 the then Warden of All Souls, Francis Knyvett Leighton, aged 74, spent census night in the house with his wife, married daughter, and sister, and also living in the house to wait on these four people were ten servants (a housekeeper, nurse, three ladies’ maids, an upper housemaid, under housemaid, kitchenmaid, butler, and footman).

Leighton must have been about to retire at the time of that census, because later that same year William Anson took over the post. He was the first Warden who was not also a cleric, and at 39 was just over half the age of his predecessor. In Memories of Victorian Oxford Sir Charles Oman writes, “Sir William Anson … remained all his life a bachelor, his house being kept for him by detachments of his numerous body of sisters.”

The Wardens of All Souls College shown in directories as living at 32 High Street 1846–1976


Revd Lewis Sneyd, MA


Revd Francis Knyvett Leighton, DD


Sir William Reynell Anson, bart., DCL, JP


Francis William Pember, DCL


William George Stewart Adams, MA


Benedict Humphrey Sumner, MA, FBA


Sir Hubert Douglas Henderson, MA


John Hanbury Angus Sparrow, OBE, MA

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 3 January, 2021

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