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Headington history: Pubs and beerhouses

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Other former pubs of Headington


Golden Ball, situation unknown

An advertisement in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 7 August 1762 advertises the Golden Ball in Headington to let, with enquiries to be directed to George Smith, carpenter or Farmer Phillips.


Hare & Hounds, London Road

This pub is listed in the 1841 census on the London Road, at an unknown point that could have been anywhere between Headington Hill and Sandhills. It was then occupied by the mason James Soanes, his wife Mary, his children John (20), Martha (15), and Edwin (15), and four other people. It was probably near Windmill Road, as in 1851 Soanes is listed as living “near the Turnpike”.


The Plough, The Croft, Old Headington
Closed by the late nineteenth century; probably survives as a house in the Croft

This pub, which was copyhold under the Manor of Headington, was auctioned on 4 May 1843, and was described thus: “All that front DWELLING HOUSE, known as the sign of The Plough; containing a front tap room and parlour, back ditto, with large workshop over, kitchen, yard, stable, with loft over, pump of good water, with detached entrance to the same, dining room, two bed chambers, cellaring, &c. now in the occupation of Mr. Taman jun. A front DWELLING HOUSE adjoining; consisting of a good shop, kitchen, dining room, and three bed chambers, cellaring, & c. now in the occupation of Mr. Teal. These two Houses are let on a short lease at £40 per annum. Also a front TENEMENT adjoining, with parlour, kitchen, and two bed chambers, &c. at present unoccupied.

The Plough was evidently in the Croft, as the 1862 census lists George Taylor (aged 36 and described as a “Carpenter & Joiner & Beer Retailer”) living here with his wife Sarah and children George, Clara, Harry, Frederick, and a newborn daughter.

On 10 April 1869 Richard Tempero, landlord of the Plough beerhouse, Headington, was charged with committing a breach of the Beer Act on 26 March.


Rose & Crown, The Croft
Closed by the late nineteenth century; site unknown, but probably survives as a house in the Croft

The part of the Croft leading from Osler Road to Old High Street is described in the Headington Enclosure Award of 1804 as passing “near the Public House called the Rose and Crown”.

This is presumably the pub described as The Crown, Headington when an auction was held here in 1811: it was then occupied by a Mr Bryant. In 1819 auctions are described as being held at both The Crown and the Rose & Crown; and in 1824 there is an auction at the Crown.

In 1826 the occupants of four cottages opposite the Crown were Samuel Berry, Alexander Teague, Mrs Stanton, and Thomas Jeffs.


Shotover Arms, 298 London Road
Closed c.1995; now McDonald’s

This pub, along with an adjoining filling station, opened to the east of Green Road in 1931. It is a large Tudoresque-style building designed by Ernest Kibble. It closed in about 1953 and was converted into the Shotover Arms Hotel in 1957 when the eastern bypass was built. In 1967 it became a pub again and was still open in 1993; but by 1996 it had been taken over by McDonalds.


The Swan (formerly the Spotted Pig), 8 The Croft, Old Headington
Closed in the 1920s; now a private house

This is one of the listed buildings of Headington and more information can be found here.


Waterman Beerhouse, The Croft, Old Headington
Closed by the late nineteenth century; site unknown, but probably survives as a house in the Croft

This is listed in the Headington Rate-Book for 1850 as being owned by Henry Hedges and occupied by Adam Beesley. It had a gross estimated rental of £12 and a rateable value of £9 a year. It was evidently in the Croft in Old Headington, as the 1851 census shows Adam Beesley, a 38-year-old boatman, living in the Croft with his wife Caroline and daughter Emma.

© Stephanie Jenkins

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