Headington history: Miscellaneous

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Headington Enclosure Award of 1804

The Headington Enclosure Act of 1802

for dividing allotting and laying in severalty the open and common fields, common pastures, common meadows, commons and waste grounds within the Parish of Headington in the County of Oxford

was signed in July 1803. It came into force in 1804, and is reponsible for the way Headington is laid out today: even the newest streets follow the boundaries then delineated.

The entire words of the Act are reproduced in the following PDF document, but it really needs to be studied in conjunction with the large Headington Enclosure Award map held by the Oxfordshire History Centre and now also online

Headington Enclosure Award: transcription of text (PDF)

Headington Enclosure Award: MAP

Important: start by clicking the box saying "Zoom" under the "Record Detail" heading
and then click OK to the copyright notice, otherwise you won't be able to enlarge the map

The Commissioners appointed under the Act were Richard Davis of Lewknor, John Davis of Bloxham, and Edward Barton of Headington. The other parties to the Act were the five principal landowners of Headington, namely:

Henry Mayne Whorwood, Lord of the Manor of Headington and owner of the Manor House
Awarded over 389 acres in his own right, and over 71 acres as a lessee of Corpus Christi College

Miss Mary Jones, Lord of the Manor of Heddington and owner of Headington House
Awarded over 110 acres in her own right and over 92 as a lessee of Magdalen College

Mrs Letitia Finch (widow of Richard Finch the elder) and Richard Finch the younger (her son), owners of The Rookery in Old Headington
Letitia was awarded 110 acres of land as a lessee of Magdalen College, while Richard was awarded over 30 acres in lieu of copyhold lands under Heddington Manor

Magdalen College (in the person of the President, the Revd Dr Martin Routh): over 944 acres

Corpus Christi College (in the person of the President, the Revd Dr John Cook): over 187 acres

The Enclosure Commissioners’ Minute book is in the Bodleian Library

Roads of Headington

The Act starts by describing the 23 public and private roads and ways of Headington, which are indicated with roman numerals on the map, namely:

I.     London Road (“the new Turnpike Road”)

II.    Old High Street (leading from “High Cross Bush” to “the village of Headington”)

III.    Windmill Road + The Slade (leading from “High Cross Bush” to past “Harry Bears Bottom” as far as Wood Farm

IV.    Bayswater Road

V.     Quarry Road (from “Toot-hill Butts Furlong” to Quarry Copse at the bottom of Shotover Hill)

VI.    Barton Road (from the London Road through the track along “Blackthorn Meer” to Barton Village)

VII.    Old Road (the “antient Turnpike Road”)

VIII.   Osler Road, from opposite “a certain public House called the Britannia” across Young Stile Furlong to the corner of the house occupied by John Parson, Esq. This road had been built in 1802 as the new route from the City of Oxford to the Village of Headington)

IX.    Marston Road

X.      Barton Lane (described as leading from the Black Boy to the hamlet of Barton)

XI.     Dunstan Road

XII.    Gipsy Lane (described as a bridle way for the public and a Carriage Way for the several Owners and Occupiers of land” in Headington)

XII.    Road from the London Road to Sandhills

XIV.   Private road from Barton to Wick Farm

XV.    Private road off Windmill Road (just north of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre)

XVI.   Stoke Place (then a footpath to Elsfield, known as Love Lane, with The Rookery being the only significant building)

XVII.  Track running north from Barton Lane

XVIII. Cuckoo Lane (from Joe Pullen’s tree to Old High Street, designated the public foot road from Headington to Oxford)

XIX.   West end of the Croft (leading from Osler Road “near the Public House called the Rose and Crown into the village of Headington”)

XX.    Funeral path leading from Old Headington (”near the blacksmith’s shop of William Lawrance”, viz. North Place) to Headington Quarry

XXI.   Footpath from Barton via Wick Meadow towards Beckley

XXII.  Footpath from Barton to Headington Quarry

XXIII. Footpath from Barton leading towards Stanton St John

© Stephanie Jenkins

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