26 Holywell Street

26 Holywell Street

Grade II Listed Building: List Entry Number 1369377. The house probably dates from the seventeenth century, but has been altered.

Owned by Harris Manchester College.

At the beginning of the twentieth century Nos. 25, 26, and 27 comprised Addis Hall, and they are now the Warrington Building of Harris Manchester.

This house has “H.P. XVIII” inscribed on the lintel, indicating that before Holywell Street was given its present numbering system in 1837, it was numbered 18 rather than 26 Holywell Street (with the H.P. presumably standing for “Holywell Parish”.

The school at 26 Holywell Street

There was a school at this house from the 1840s to 1868, with a number of different owners

Boarding School (1846–1847)

Jabez Horne is listed as having a boarding school here in Hunt's Directory for 1846 and the Post Office Directory of 1847

Commercial Boarding and Day School (1851–1853)

This boys' school took boarders and was run by Alfred King. He died aged 29 on 23 August 1853.

Boarding and Day School for Girls (by 1854)

This was run by Mrs King, the widow of the previous schoolmaster

Merton House School for Young Ladies (1859–1861)

This school was run by Miss Arthur. The following advertisement for the girls' school was placed in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 22 January 1859:

Merton House School for Young Ladies.
The object of this School is to give a sound and useful education, based on careful religious and moral training, with the best advantages for the acquirement of Music, Singing, the Modern Languages, and other accomplishments, on moderate terms. Strict attention is paid to health, and the domestic arrangements ensure the comforts of an orderly well-regulated family. The Pupils will resume their studies on the 25th inst.—For further particulars apply to Miss Arthur, 26, Holywell Street.

Hope House Academy (later shortened to The Academy)(1861–1868)

This boarding & day school for boys was run by Alfred S. Barling, who had previously been teaching at home at 39 Holywell Street.. On 18 May 1861 the following advertisement appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal:

Hope House Boarding and Day School
, 39, HOLYWELL, Oxford.
Mr Barling begs respectfully to inform parents and guardians that the increasing number of his pupils have compelled him to take to larger and more convenient Premises, situate in Holywell-street (No. 26), where his pupils will have the advantages of a large and well-ventilated school-room and a good recreation ground. The Principal will have pleasure in forwarding prospectuses.
A Second Master will be required after Midsummer.

In subsequent advertisements Barling advertised the school at 26 Holywell Street as providing both classical and commercial education, with the best quality and unlimited food. Fees were £30 per annum, or £27 for those under 12 years of age (iincluding books, Latin, and drawing). He boasted that it had a large playground contiguous to the University Parks.

On 19 December 1868 Barling announced that he planned to move to “more commodious and healthful Premises” at Carlton Lodge on the Iffley Road.

The building then became a university lodging house, and is now part of Harris Manchester College.

26 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

John Freeman Wood (40), a surgeon, lived here with Juliana (35), who was probably his wife; Frances (25) who may have been his sister; and Juliana (11), Margaretta (9), Harry (7), Frederick (4), Frances (3), and Emma (1). They had three female servants.


No. 26
Alfred King
(27), a schoolmaster, lived here with his schoolmistress wife Sarah (25) and their daughter Elizabeth (4). They had one house servant, and three boys aged between 7 and 9 boarding with them.

No. 26½
James Reeves
(33), a college servant, lived here with his wife Ann (30) and their son William (1). They had one servant.


Miss Sarah Arthur (46), a schoolmistress, lived here with Clara Fischer (28), a governess, and seven female pupils aged between 9 and 20. They had two servants.


Frederick Middleton (42), a college servant, lived here with his wife Frances (44) and their children Frederick (14), Eliza (12), William (10), Faith (8), Frances (7), and Frank (5).


Frederick Middleton (52), now described as a college bedmaker, still lived here with his wife Frances (55) and their children Frederick (24), who was a clothier & outfitter, Jane (22), Faith (18), Frances (17), and Frank (15), who was an auctioneer & surveyor.
David Margoliouth, a Fellow of New College, lodged with them.


Frederick Middleton (62) still a college servant, continued to live here with his wife Frances (64) and their children Faith (27) and Frances (26), and his mother-in-law Mary Surrage (102).

1901 and 1911

Nos 25 and 26 were part of No. 27.

Occupants of 26 Holywell Street listed in directories etc.

Survey of Oxford

Frontage: 6 yds 0 ft 8 in
Mr Dodd


John Freeman Wood


Jabez Horne, gentleman's boarding schoo


Boys' School (taking boarders) run by Alfred King
1854: Mrs King’s Boarding & Day School

(with James Reeves, college servant, at No. 26A in 1851, and
Henry Goring, Esq.
in the private resident list here in 1852)


Merton House School for Young Ladies (Miss Sarah Arthur)


Gents’ Boarding School (A. S. Barling)


Frederick Middleton
University lodgings


No listing. Nos 25 and 26 were part of No. 27 in 1901 census.


Addis Hall (with No. 25)
Rev. William Addis, M.A., licensed master (who lived at No. 27)


No listing



Part of Harris Manchester College
known (with No. 25) as the Warrington Building

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© Stephanie Jenkins

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