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Headington history: Descriptions

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Headington in 1890


Kelly’s Directory of Oxford and Neighbourhood 1890–1891
(London: Kelly & Co., 1890)

Headington is a parish and head of a union in the Mid division of the county, hundred and petty sessional division of Bullingdon, county court district of Oxford, rural deanery of Islip and archdeaconry and diocese of Oxford, 1½ miles east-north-east from Oxford; a small portion is within the municipal and parliamentary limits of Oxford city.

The old Roman road passes towards Headington Quarry pits; the road from Oxford to Headington is broad but very steep and on the north side is a lofty terrace walk, bordered with trees, constructed about the middle of last century, the cost being defrayed by subscription.

The church of St. Andrew is an ancient structure of stone, in mixed styles, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch, and an embattled tower at the west end of the south aisle, with a square turret at the south-west angle, containing a clock and 6 bells: the chancel is the oldest portion of the church; on the outside of its north wall are the remains of a Norman doorway, and near it is a semicircular arch of rude stones; two Perpendicular windows in the south wall retain fragments of stained glass of earlier date; there is a sedile, formed by the sill of a window, and a piscina; the chancel arch is recessed towards the west, and ornamented with double zig-zag and bold round mouldings, rising from a shaft on each side, the same work being carried down the joints: the nave and south aisles are Early English, divided by three arches on massive round pillars with moulded caps and bases; in the south wall is a piscina, and at the north-east angle are the remains of rood-loft stairs; in the south door the original iron work is retained: the north aisle is modern, and connected with the nave by three arches cut through the wall; the tower has Early English arches on the north and east opening into the church; the outer walls of the tower are Perpendicular, and one side bears the date 1679: in the churchyard, a little to the south-east of the porch, is a fine Perpendicular cross, raised on three steps, and consisting of an octagonal quatrefoiled base from which rises a ribbed shaft of similar form, supporting a heavy square head: there are 450 sittings, all free. The register dates from the year 1683. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value about £200, including glebe value £130 with residence, in the gift of Mrs Rawlinson, and held by the Rev. J. Holford Scott M.A. of St. Mary Hall, Oxford.

A cemetery of about two acres was formed in 1885 at a cost of upwards of £1,600: the greater part of the ground has been consecrated, but not the mortuary chapel, which is available for all denominations: the cemetery is under the control of a burial board of seven members, of whom George Herbert Morrell esq. is the chairman; E. W. Hazel, Oxford, clerk to the burial board and Edward Morris, Headington, caretaker.

All Saints’ chapel, New Headington, erected in 1870, has sittings for 160 persons; the vicar of Headington officiates.

The Baptists have a chapel here, built in 1805.

Headington was once famous for its bull-baiting, which attracted many spectators from a distance as well as from Oxford.

Wharton’s charity of £27 yearly is distributed at discretion of Trustees; the Peat Moor and Shotover Hill allotments and Hude’s charity produce altogether £10 a year, which is distributed in coals.

The Warneford Lunatic Asylum is a stone building containing male and female wards with space for 80 inmates, and is supported partly by endowment and otherwise by subscriptions and fees; the building is now about to be enlarged for the reception of 20 additional male patients.

The Wingfield Convalescent Home is a building of red brick, opened in 1872 in connection with the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, since which time between 1,300 and 1,400 patients have been treated; it is partially endowed, but is mainly supported by voluntary contributions.

The principal landowners are Magdalen College, Oxford; the trustees of the late W. C. Faulkner esq.; the trustees of the late William Peppercorn, who are lords of the manor; Mrs. Stone and Mrs. Wootten-Wootten.

In the reign of Ethelred, Headington was the seat of a royal palace, said to have stood in a field called “Court close”, and in part on the route of the present road to Marston.

The soil is sandy; subsoil, clay and stone of the Coralline oolite, which has been much used in Oxford. The chief crops are wheat and barley. The area is 1,780 acres; rateable value, £8,616; the population in 1871 was 2,384 and in 1881 was 2,777, including 8 officers and 82 inmates in the Workhouse.

Barton is a portion of this parish; rateable value, £1,840; also a place known as Bartlemas, formerly ex-parochial.

Parish Clerk, vacant.

Post & M.O.O., T.O. & S.B.– Mrs. Mary Ann Rudd, receiver. Letters are received through Oxford at 8 a.m. & 1.15 p.m.; dispatched 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.

Warneford Lunatic Asylum; John Bywater Ward M.D. resident medical superintendent & secretary; James Neil M.D. is assistant medical officer; Miss Elizabeth Stanford, matron; Rev. Octavius Ogle M.A. chaplain

Wingfield Convalescent Home, Rev. Octavius Ogle M.A. chaplain; Mrs.  Ann Adams, matron

Schools:–
National, endowed with £12 yearly, given by Catherine Mather in 1805, & holds 90 boys & as many girls; the average attendance is 84 boys & 94 girls; George Stace, master; Miss Elizabeth Drake, mistress; & infant school, Mrs. Crozier
Infants, New Headington, for 100 children: average attendance, 54; Mrs. Price, mistress

Carriers:– Jacobs & Gardner, to Oxford & back, daily


Headington Union

Board day, alternate Thursdays at 10 a.m. at the workhouse, Headington

The Union comprises the following places:- Beckley, Chippinghurst, Cowley, Cuddesden, Denton, Elsfield, Forest Hill, Garsington, Headington, Holton, Horsepath, Horton-cum-Studley, Iffley & Cockmore, Littlemore, Marston, St. Clement (Oxford), Shotover, Stanton St. John, Stowood, Studley, Wheatley, Wood Eaton; the population of the union in 1881 was 28,717; rateable value, £145,000

Clerk to the Guardians & Assessment & School Attendance Committees, Arthur Ernest Ward, 7 Broad street, Oxford

Collectors to the Guardians, Relieving & Vaccination Officers, No. 1 or Headington district, John Draper, 49 Cowley road, Oxford; No. 2 or Wheatley district, John Hale

Medical Officers & Public Vaccinators, Headington district, G. C. H. Hitchings, MRCS, 37 Holywell street, Oxford; Wheatley district, Wheatley

Superintendent Registrar, Francis Cripps, 19 Market street, Oxford
Registrars of Births & Deaths, St. Clement’s sub-district, John Draper, 49 Cowley road, Oxford; Wheatley sub-district, John Hale
Registrar of Marriages, John Draper, 49 Cowley road, Oxford

The Workhouse, a plain stone building, is available for 280 inmates, & attached to it is an infirmary containing 42 beds; C. Learman, master; Rev. J. Holford Scott, chaplain; G. C. H. Hitchings M.R.C.S., medical officer; Mrs. Learman, matron


Rural Sanitary Authority

Clerk, Arthur Ernest Ward, 7 Broad st., Oxford

Medical Officers of Health, Headington district, W. Dyson Wood is Medical Officer of Health for both districts: Wheatley district, W. Dyson Wood M.D., 50 St. John’s street, Oxford

Inspector of Nuisances, Lee Turner, 18 James street, Cowley road, Oxford


Headington Quarry

Headington Quarry is an ecclesiastical parish formed Sept. 10, 1850, from that of Headington and comprises Shotover Hill Place, which was formerly extra-parochial. The church of the Holy Trinity is a building of stone, consisting of chancel, nave, south aisle, porch and a gable bell-cote containing 2 bells. The register dates from the year 1849. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £1228, including 10 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Oxford and held since 1870 by the Rev. Charles Pitman Longland, of St. Bees. The principal landowners are Magdalen College and the trustees of the late W. C. Faulkner esq.

The population of the district in 1881 was 1,174, of which that of Shotover Hill place is 111; area, 957 acres.

Parish Clark & Sexton, William Morris.

Post Office.– Wm. Coppock, receiver. Letters are received through Oxford at 8 a.m. & 2 p.m.; dispatched at 6.10 p.m. Headington is the nearest money order & telegraph office.

National School (mixed), for 200 children; average attendance, 170; Frederick William Mason, head master; Miss Maria Gostick, assistant mistress


The list of Headington’s Principal Inhabitants in 1890, which follows the above preamble, is reproduced in the Family History section on this site.

© Stephanie Jenkins

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