15–16 Holywell Street

15-16 Holywell Street

Grade II Listed Building: List Entry Number 1047268. This pair of houses probably dates from the end of the sixteenth or beginning of the seventeenth century, but they were remodelled in the eighteenth century. The ground floor was refronted in rubble in 1970.

Owned by Merton College.

In the later nineteenth century No. 16 on the left was a grocer's shop, and remained a shop into the 1960s, while No. 15 on the right was a house.

On 21 November 1868 the auction of No. 16 (together with the six cottages of Park Passage behind) was advertised thus in Jackson's Oxford Journal:

The FRONT HOUSE, with Shop, No. 16, and SIX COTTAGES in the rear, with Garden to each, and two detached wash-houses, water closets, and privies, with the city water laid on, adjoining Park Passage, in the several occupations of Messrs. Hounslow, Smith, Drury, Hughes, Stapleton, Miss Mallam, and Mrs. Robins, old and punctual tenants, paying a rental of £72. 14s. per annum.
   This Property is held by lease from Merton College, for a term of 40 years, from Michaelmas 1852, subject to a reserved rent of 15s. 9d., and Land Tax £1 14s. 3d.

15–16 Holywell Street in the censuses


Nos. 15 & 16
Appears not to have been listed, and also missing in directories


No. 16½ [possibly No. 15]
Thomas Daly
(46), a Royal Artillery pensioner, lived here with his wife Mary (29) and their children John (7) and James (9 months) and a nurse-child, Mary Jones (8 months).

No. 16
Edward Peake
(21), a carver & gilder, lived here with his wife Eliza (24).


No. 15
Jane Godfrey (57), a laundress, lived here with her sons Charles (33) and Ebenezer (27), who were college servants, her daughter Jane (19), also a laundress, and her servant Caroline Akers (39), who is described as a laundrymaid.

No. 16
John Green (32), a master tailor employing two men, is described as married, but was alone in the house on census night.


No. 15
No listing.

No. 16
Benjamin Hounslow (37), a boot closer, lived here with his wife Jane (39) and their children Benjamin (15), who was a college servant), Jane (12), and Samuel (7).


No. 15
Frederick C. Collins
, a cowkeeper & dairyman employing one man, lived here with his brother Arthur (3), who is described as a dairyman and presumably worked for his brother. Both were single.

No. 16
Benjamin T. Hounslow
(47), a grocer, still lived here with his wife Jane (49) and their children Benjamin (25), who was a butler, Jane (24), and Samuel (17), who was a cabinet maker’s apprentice).


No. 15/16 (listed as 15)
William Tollett
 (45), a tailor, lived here with his wife Elizabeth (36) and their children Louisa (12), Reginald (10), Winifred (5), Melville (3), and Florence (eleven months).

No. 16
Benjamin Hounslow
 (59), a grocer, lived here with his wife Jane (60).


Nos. 15/16 (listed as 16)
Jane Reeve (37), an unmarried general grocer, lived here with her widowed mother Sarah (79), who was living on her own means.


Nos. 15/16 (listed as 16)
Arthur Carter (38), a shopkeeper, lived here with his wife Elizabeth (36), who assisted in the business, and his daughter May (18), who was a teacher.

Occupants of 15–16 Holywell Street listed in directories etc.


No. 16 (left)

No. 15 (right)

Survey of Oxford

Frontage: 4 yds 0 ft 0 in
Mr Attewell

Frontage: 4 yds 0 ft 0 in
Mr Vincent


Edward Peake
Carver & gilder

Thomas Daly (16A, but probably No. 15)

William Blay
Cabinet maker & upholsterer


John F. Green

Mrs Jane Godfrey


Thomas Higginson, paper hanger, & Mrs Higginson, feather dresser


Benjamin Hounslow

E. Collins in 1871
E . R. & F. C. Collins from 1872
Cowkeeper & Dairyman


J. Carter
Cabinet maker, upholsterer


Mrs Walton


Thomas Fenemore,
Gas fitter in 1889, Ironmonger in 1889

with William Tollett, tailor 1889–1896 (moved from 95 when it was demolished by New College)



Miss Jane Reeves
General grocer


Arthur Carter

Mrs Elizabeth Carter
Shopkeeper (by 1921)

E. W. Attwood, ironmonger & gas & hot water fitter (also at 14 & 14A )


Cox & Co.
Motor engineers


C. J. Gray & Son
Motor Engineers
(later Cycle agents & dealers)


C. N. Spencer, general store
Mrs Spencer by 1966


Malcolm A. S. Moore


John L. Barton

Homefinding accommodation agency


No listing


Merton College annexe

Wykeham Coffee House


Edamamé Japanese Restaurant

Holywell home

© Stephanie Jenkins

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