9 Holywell Street

9 Holywell Street

Grade II Listed Building: List Entry Number 1335832. The house dates from the end of the eighteenth or beginning of the nineteenth century. Owned by Merton College.

The executors of the late James Kensell advertised an auction of all his property in Jackson’s Oxford Journal for 30 October 1852. This included:

A convenient DWELLING HOUSE, known as No. 9 Holywell-street, Oxford, for many years occupied by the deceased proprietor, and which, with a moderate outlay, might be made a very comfortable Private Residence for a family of respectability; it contains three sitting rooms, three large bed rooms, and servant’s room, with cellar, kitchen, and other domestic offices; a pump and well of excellent water, a large garden at the back, and other advantages. — This Property is held by lease under Merton College, Oxford, for a term of 40 years, from 5th April, 1850, subject to money and corn rents, amounting to about 12s. per annum, and a Land Tax of 18s. per annum. — Immediate possession may be had.

A quarter of a century later, this house came up for auction again, and was advertised thus on 5 January 1878:

Lot 1 —- All that very desirable LEASEHOLD RESIDENCE, being No. 9 Holywell-street, containing entrance passage, two sitting rooms, kitchen, and scullery on the ground floor; two sitting rooms and four bed rooms on the upper stories; a cellar in the basement; and a large garden in the rear, the whole being in the occupation of Mrs. Hinton.
This lot is Leasehold under Merton College for 40 years, from the 5th of April, 1850, and is subject to an annual quit rent of 1s. 8d. and two pecks of barley malt.

9 Holywell Street in the censuses


The 1841 census for Holywell does not give house numbers, but it is possible to deduce where people listed that year lived by examining directory entries between 1839 and 1842 and later censuses

Stephen Kensell (65), a boot maker, lived here with James Kensell (55) and one female servant.


Stephen Kensell (77), an unmarried bootmaker and employer of eight men, still lived here with his brother James (68), who was also a bootmaker, and one servant.


John Bossom (64), a widower and college janitor, lived here with his daughter Lucy (19). They had one female servant.


John Hinton (31), a college servant, lived here with his wife Martha (29) and their children Edith (9), Cecilia (7), Ernest (5), Percy (3), and William (1). They had no servants.


Martha Hinton (40), now a widowed lodging house keeper, lived here with her children Edith (19), Cecilia (17), Percy (13), William (11), and Edgar (9), and her married sister Agnes Kenrick (35), described as a landowner’s wife.


Martha Hinton (50) was still a lodging house keeper here, living with her children Edith (29), Cecilia (27), John (23), who was a college servant, and Edgar (19), who was a bank clerk.


Martha Hinton (59), was still a lodging house keeper here, living with her unmarried children Edith (39), Cecilia (37), and John (33), who was a college servant.
William Waters
, a physician, lodged with them and ran his practice from this house.


Martha Hinton (70) was still a lodging house keeper here, now living with her two unmarried daughters Edith (49) and Cecilia (47).

Occupants of 9 Holywell Street listed in directories etc.

Survey of Oxford

Frontage: 5 yds 0 ft 9 in
Mrs Perfect


Stephen & James Kensell
Boot & shoe makers


John Bossom
College janitor


John Hinton
Under-porter of Brasenose College (died here 31 May 1871)

Mrs Martha Hinton from 1871
Mrs Martha Hinton, University lodgings, by 1889
Miss Hinton, University Lodgings by 1921


No listing


James Allan Moy-Thomas, Lecturer in Geology, Queen’s
Mrs Moy-Thomas from 1945


No listing


Arthur G. Rigg


James A. D. Welsh


Michael G. Bowler


No listing


Merton College annexe

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© Stephanie Jenkins

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