Part of Hertford College (was 51–52 Holywell Street)

51-52 Holywell Street

Grade II Listed Building: List Entry Number 1047238

Nos. 51 and 52 used to be a house and shop, but are now one building.

It is owned by Hertford College.

Late eighteenth-century three-storeyed stuccoed rubble on cellars, with a band at the first floor, and a Welsh slate roof. There is a coachway to the west. The ground-floor has a bay shop-front and an eighteenth-century sash window. The bay is carried up through the first and second floor.

The artist James Allen Shuffrey lived at 51 Holywell Street between 1906 and 1908.

In 1974 a planning application by Hertford College (74/00737/LA_H) to construct a new quadrangle by restoring 51–55 Holywell Street and to erect a new three-storey block was approved.

51–52 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

No. 51
Richard Wall
(50), a plumber, lived here with his wife Margaret (50) and one female servant. He died at the age of 64 and was buried in St Cross churchyard on 14 May 1848.


No. 51
Margaret Wall (61), described as the widow of a plumber & painter and the owner of houses and fundholder, lived here with one servant.

No. 52
Robert Thomas senior (45), a plumber & painter employing two men and one apprentice, lived here with one servant.


No. 51
Margaret Wall (72) still lived here with her female servant. She died the following year and was buried on 27 November 1862.

No. 52
Robert Thomas senior
(a widower of 55), a plumber & glazier employing 13 men and one boy, lived here with an undergraduate lodger and his two servants.


No. 51
Robert Thomas junior (35), a painter, had moved into Margaret Wall's house with his wife Mary Ann (30) and his children Mary (9), Frank (8), Helen (5), Herbert (3), and Sidney (eleven months). They had one general servant.

No. 52
Robert Thomas senior
 (65), a painter & glazier, still lived here, now with his new wife Caroline (48) and their son John (5), plus two servants.


No. 51
John Jenkins
(38), a cook, lived here with his wife Louisa (28) and his children Emily (8), Maud (6), and Ada (2). They had a servant boy aged 13.

No. 52
Robert Thomas junior
(45), now a painter & plumber employing 39 men and two boys, had moved next door to Robert Thomas senior's house where he lived with his wife Mary (40) and his children Mary (19), Ellen (15), and Allan (6). They had one general servant.


No. 51
The tenant was recorded as being temporarily absent.

No. 52
Robert Thomas (51), a widower and house decorator, lived here with his sons Frank (29), who did the same work as his father, and Eric (9) They employed an 18-year-old servant girl.


No. 51
Caroline Smith (29), a widowed lodging house keeper, lived here with her children Arthur (12), Frank (10), Sarah (7), and Charles (5). They had a servant girl of 16.

No. 52
Robert Thomas (65), a decorator and plumber, worked from this house. He lived here with two of his unmarried sons: Frank (38) was a partner in the business, while Eric (20) worked for his father.


No. 51
Miss Edith de la Mare
(59), a boarding-house keeper from Guernsey, lived here with a visiting French student.

No. 52
No listing: probably just a plumbing and decorating business.

Occupants of 51–52 Holywell Street listed in directories etc.

  No. 52 (left) No. 51 (right)

Survey of Oxford

Frontage: 13 yds 0 ft 5 in
Mr Baynes


Richard Wall
Plumber &c.

R. Pike, Accountant (1830)

George Farrant (from 1846)
Senior Common Room Man at New College


Robert Thomas in 1851–1861

Robert Thomas senior, painter, plumber and glazier in 1872

R. Thomas & Son (Oxford) Ltd
Plumbers, decorators & glaziers

(and at No. 51 in 1884–1887)

Mrs Margaret Wall
(listed in private residents in 1852)



Robert Thomas junior, painter, plumber, & glazier


Miss Broughton


Mrs Caroline E. Smith
University lodgings


Arthur George


Miss Edith de la Mare
Boarding-house keeper


Miss Dale

with Mrs Mary Helen Carew,
Physician & Surgeon, 1916–1926
(named as Mrs Mary Carew-Hunt in 1921)


Walter L. Williams


Andrew Carstairs


Leslie Franks


Mrs M. Gilson Cary


R. Thomas & Son (Oxford) Ltd
Plumbers, decorators & glaziers & wallpaper merchants
(with Leslie Franks at No. 52)


Gray & Thomas (Oxford) Ltd
Wallpaper showrooms & offices
(with Leslie Franks at No. 52)


Homefinding Accommodation Agency
(with Leslie Franks, J.P. at No. 52)


No listing, except for Colin Douglas at No. 51 in 1973


Infilled and restored (with 53–55 to the east)
to form part of Hertford’s Third (or Holywell) Quad


Part of Hertford College

Holywell home

© Stephanie Jenkins

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