2 & 4 St Andrew’s Lane
Corpus Christi College’s map of Old Headington in 1605 shows that St Andrew's Lane was then Dagg’s Lane, with a common well marked at the point at the bottom. It evidently became known as Church Hill, and by the nineteenth century was known jointly with Larkin’s Lane as Church Lane. Its name was changed to St Andrew's Lane in 1955.
4 St Andrew's Lane (Church Hill Farmhouse)
This house on the right of the above photograph used to be Church Hill Farmhouse, and probably dates from the seventeenth century. Together with its farmland, it was once held under the Manor of Heddington. The curtilage of the farmhouse alone (described in the early Court Rolls as “a messuage, tenement or cottage, malthouse, outhouses, backside, garden and orchard”) occupied the site of the present William Orchard Close; and in addition it had another eight acres of meadow and arable land.
Right: Fire insurance mark on 4 St Andrew's Lane, with the three leopards' heads of the Salop Fire Office (Policy No. 5266)
In 1759 the house and land was conveyed by John Griffin senior to his spinster daughter, Ann Griffin. Ten years later in 1769 she in turn conveyed the copyhold to Joseph Holly or Holley.
By mid-1803, Joseph Holly had died and his son, Thomas Holly, had come into his inheritance. Under the Enclosure Award of that date, the additional farmland held by Thomas Holly under the Manor of Heddington was replaced by three allotments “in the Meadow” totalling over 8½ acres (Plots 81, 82, and 83): a third of this land adjoined the farmhouse to the north-east, but the rest was further away, to the north of the present bypass.
In 1820 Thomas Holly and his wife Mary (daughter of Henry Godfrey) sold the property to Charles Browne of Hanborough, gentleman: the occupant at this time was William Savours.
In 1832 Charles Browne died, and his infant son of the same name inherited the house and land. It was immediately conveyed to Henry Carr of Headington, a butcher: the 1841 census shows him at the age of 60 living with his family in the farmhouse. The property appears to have been enfranchised around this time. In 1844 Carr sold the farm to William Graham (a bookseller at 41 High Street, Oxford) who let out the farmhouse and its immediate land land to a poulterer, Richard Gibbs, and the other fields to Charles Godfrey (a small-scale farmer of ten acres who lived in St Andrew’s Road). Gibbs lived in the farmhouse (with his chickens presumably in the orchard) until the mid-1860s. The Headington Rate Book of 1850 shows that the property rented by Gibbs had a rateable value of £20 and a gross estimated rental of £25: the farmhouse had no name at this time, and is identified by the description “Near the Church”.
From around 1883 to 1948 the farm was owned by the Wylie family of the Grange. It was let out as a dairy farm, from which local people were able to purchase their milk directly. Walter J. Wheeler was the dairyman there from 1890, and the following report of a fire at the farm appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 17 September 1892:
FIRE AT HEADINGTON. — Shortly after four o’clock on Wednesday afternoon, a postal telegram was received at the Fire Brigade Station announcing that a fire had broken out at Church Hill Farm, Headington, in the occupation of Mr. Walter Wheeler, farmer and butcher. A large cowshed and a rick of hay containing about 25 tons were found to be alight, and the larger part of the latter was saved from the flames, but was damaged by removal, &c. There were twenty-one members of the Brigade present, with a steamer and hose van; the property is insured in the Phoenix Fire Office, and the cause of the outbreak is stated to be “unknown”. The only supply of water was from a brook.
Walter Wheeler died in 1895 at the age of 38, and his widow, Mrs Louisa Wheeler, then ran it on her own until 1906, when she took over a farm at Barton. William Cook then held it for just four years, and it is during that period that it is first listed in directories under the name of Church Hill Farm, rather than simply as “Dairy”.
In 1910 the farm was taken over by Alfred Stopps, who came from Buckinghamshire. The 1911 census shows him at the age of 38 and described as “Dairy & Farmer” living in Church Hill Farm with his wife Frances Amy (40) and his three children Alfred John (12), Wilfred Francis (10), and Edith Louisa (8). Alfred Stopps died in 1944, and his widow Mrs F. A. Stopps (farmer) is listed in the 1945 and 1947 directories.
From 1952 to 1962 their son Alfred John Stopps continued to run the farm, but in the latter years the northern bypass bisected the fields, making work difficult.
The house was then empty for eight years. In 1967 the Church Hill Farm Trustees oversaw the building of William Orchard Close on the orchard belonging to this farm and in about 1969 sold the farmhouse to Frank Ricketts, who lived there until the 1980s.
2 St Andrew's Lane (Church Hill Cottage)
Left: No. 2 St Andrew’s Lane (Church Hill Cottage) is on the left of this picture. It is attached to Church Hill Farmhouse to the south, but was probably a later addition. It was a shop for many years.
The bay window was added in the 1920s, when it was a sweet shop.
It appears to have been occupied by the tea dealer Edward Underhill in 1841 and then by three butchers in succession: John Williams, Elizabeth Hunt, and Joseph Williams.
From 1922 to about 1936 Mrs Tempero ran a sweet shop here. She had previously lived as caretaker at The Grange on the other side of the lane. According to Within Living Memory, she persuaded her former employer Mr Wylie of the Grange to build the bay window to display her wares, and there was always a black cat asleep on the sweets there.
Herbert Richard Tempero is listed here in the early 1930s: he died at the age of 73 and his funeral was at St Andrew's Church on 23 September 1937. Mrs Eleanor Alice Tempero died here at the age of 80 and her funeral was at St Andrew's Church on 27 May 1939.
Joseph Brown lived here from at least 1945 to 1964, and then Florence Brown to at least 1976.