Headington history: Pubs and beerhouses

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Former Fox pub, Barton

The Fox on its first site in Barton Village Road

The first Fox was a beerhouse in a late seventeenth-century thatched cottage in Barton Village Road.

On 17 July 1858 the original Fox was advertised for sale thus:

NOTICE of SALE, by Mr. CHARLES COX, of capital FREE PUBLIC HOUSE, called the Fox, with large yard, skittle ground, barn, garden, stable, &c.

In was in the occupation of Mrs Ann Pates when another auction was advertised on 25 August 1860:

A free Beer House … All that Stone-built and Tiled HOUSE, called “The Fox”, now in full trade, with barn, stables, yard, pigstys, wash-house, large garden, with back entrance from the road, in the occupation of Mrs. Ann Pates, at a yearly rental of £16.

George Cooper was landlord in 1869.

At the time of the 1881 census the landlord was Thomas Gurl, who lived at the Fox with his wife Sarah Emma Gurl, née Briscoe: they were newlyweds who were married at Holy Trinity Church on 4 December 1880.

The pub was later rebuilt and the cottage became its outhouse. The former Fox was described thus in the Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the City of Oxford, published in 1939:

(280) The Fox Inn, on the W. side of the road, 30 yards W. of (279) [2 Barton Village Road], is modern, but an outhouse, formerly a cottage, is of the 17th century; it has rubble walls and a doorway with a four-centred head, now blocked. Condition—Fairly good.

The Fox on its second site (Northern Bypass)

The FoxThese two photographs were taken by Richard SelfFox in snow

The second Fox was built on the new Oxford bypass in the 1930s and demolished thirty years later when the bypass was widened.

The Fox on its third site (North Way)

The third Fox was built on North Way at the junction with Edgecombe Road in the late 1960s:

It opened in 1967 and closed in 2002, and was replaced by housing.

Photographs of the Fox on its three different sites can be seen in The Changing Faces of Headington, Book 1, p. 114.

© Stephanie Jenkins

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