HOLYWELL, OXFORD

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28 Holywell Street


28 Holywell Street

Grade II Listed Building: List Entry Number 1047228. Built c.1661, with remodelled front. Fireplace and overmantel dated 1661, and rainwater-head dated 1662.

Now owned by Harris Manchester College.

A forthcoming auction of this house was advertised in Jackson's Oxford Journal of 9 August 1856, when the proprietor was John Prior, the Butler of Brasenose College:

Very desirable PREMISES, No. 28, Holywell-street, which comprises an excellent front house, with dining, drawing, and breakfast rooms; eight sleeping apartments; cellar and servants' offices, with a very large and delightful garden at the back, extending to the road to the Parks, together with a large enclosed kitchen garden, on the north side of the said road, now let to Mr. Day.

This Property is held by Lease from Merton College for Forty Years, from the 5th day of April, 1851, subject to a Reserved Rent of 4l. 3s.

By 1861 this was a boarding house of New College School.

The house was later owned by Manchester College, which provided higher education to religious nonconformists. This had been founded as the Warrington Academy in 1757 before being refounded in Manchester in 1786 as the Manchester Academy, and after periods in York, Manchester a second time, and London, it finally moved to Oxford in 1893, changing its name to Harris Manchester College in 1996. They named this house Wedgwood & Bentley, after the famous potters and Unitarians who supported the Warrington Academy. The crest to the left is that of Josiah Wedgwood, and the one to the right that of Thomas Bentley.

28 Holywell Street in the censuses

1841

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 Prior (45), a college servant, lived here with Esther (40) and Sarah (20), James (20), Esther (15), John (15), and George (14). They had one lodger and two female servants.

1851

John Prior (55), now more fully described as “Purveyor or Manciple at Brasenose College”, lived here with his wife Esther (53) and their children John (26), Esther (25), Charles (23) and their granddaughters Katherine and Florence Brazier (aged 5 and 3). They had one servant.

1861

William Tuckwell (31), Head master of New College School, lived here with his wife Rosa (30) and daughter Rose (1). Boarding with them were the Mathematics teacher and six of the boys at the school, aged from 9 to 13. They had five female servants. They were described as living in both 28 and 29 Holywell Street.

1871

Catherine Deakins (43), a widow, lived here with her son Robert (17). They had a cook and a housemaid.

1881

The owner of the house was away on census night, and it was occupied by two servants (a cook and a housemaid).

1891

The house is listed as unoccupied.

1901

Edwin Craig (35), a college tutor and examiner, lived here with his wife Sophia (32). They had two servants (a cook and a parlourmaid).

1911

The Revd Laurence Pearsall Jacks (50), a Professor at Manchester College and an Editor, lived here with his wife Olive (42) and his children Oliver (19), Stopford (15), Evelyn (11), Graham (10),and Hector (9). They had three servants.

Occupants of 28 Holywell Street listed in directories etc.

1772
Survey of Oxford

Frontage:8 yds 2 ft 20 in
Mr Arnold

1839–1856

John Prior
Butler of Brasenose College
(also in Private Resident list as “Mr John Prior” in 1852)

1861

Revd William Tuckwell
[New College School Boarding House; and at 29 next door]

1866

Mrs Evans

1871–1876

Mrs Deakins

1884–1887

Revd Henry G. Woods

1889

W. Hobhouse, M.A.
Student and Tutor of Christ Church

1894–1899

Louis Neville

1901

Edwin Craig
College tutor

1905–1911

Rev. Lawrence Pearsall Jacks, M.A.

1914–1916

Revd Henry Watson Fox, M.A.

1921

Maurice Leonard Jacks
Fellow & Tutor of Wadham College

1926

Richard H Gretton, M.A., Tutor of Keble College
Mrs Mary S. Gretton, J.P.

1930–1966

Harold William Spicer, M.A., organist, Manchester College

with Revd Raymond V. Holt, B.A., B.Litt, lecturer in political philosophy & economics
    of University College & lecturer in English literature, Lincoln College in 1930
with Revd Lancelot Garrard, bursar & tutor, Manchester College, in 1935
with Stephen N. Bertram, architect in 1936
with Revd W. Thomas Williams, tutor & bursar, Manchester College in 1947
with Mrs Noel Davis 1945–1956

1967–1976

No listing

Today

Part of Harris Manchester College

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© Stephanie Jenkins

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