Headington history: Shops

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All Saints Road dairy/73 Lime Walk

All Saints corner site

The present house at 73 Lime Walk was built in c.1886, It was variously and haphazardly numbered until 1919, when Lime Walk was rationalized with odd numbers on one side of the street and the evens on the other, and it then became No. 43 for the next 33 years. Since the second renumbering of the street in 1952, it has settled down as No. 73.

The house had a back yard running along the south side of All Saints Road, and its accessibility means that the yard has always been used for business purposes. (The present All Saints Road was originally just a short spur connecting New Headington village to Lime Walk, but it grew in length with the development of Highfield, and became known as “New Road”. The church was opened there in 1910, but it was not until 1929 – when the name New Road was given to the present Kennett Road – that it was renamed All Saints Road.)

These three extracts from Ordnance Survey maps show how the corner site developed. The building with the high door for loading carts (with two small buildings behind) was already there in 1899.

The dairy shop was built at some point between 1903 and 1921.

1899 OS map

1921 OS map

1939 OS map

The long warehouse running from north to south down the back of the site appeared between 1921 and 1939. There were no buildings on the site beside No. 73 Lime Walk on these maps: that area is now occupied by the new flats at 75, 77 81, and 83 Lime Walk.

The first occupant of 73 Lime Walk in 1887 was Thomas Goodgame, who operated as a carman (a carter/carrier) from his backyard. At the time of the 1891 census Thomas (47) and his wife Emma (50) lived here with their son John (20), who was working for his father, and their younger children William (13), and Mary (11); they also had two lodgers. Thomas’s wife Emma died at the age of 55, and was buried in Headington Cemetery on 25 February 1897.

In the third quarter of 1898 Thomas Goodgame remarried: his new wife was Isabella or Isabel Ellwood. At the time of the 1901 census Thomas (58) and Isabella (recorded as 60, but in fact 70) were living alone in the house, and Thomas was still working as a carman; but soon afterwards they moved out, and from 1902 his business is not listed in Kelly’s Directory. (Isabel Goodgame died in 1910 at the age of 76 and was buried in Headington Cemetery on 11 June. The couple had evidently gone down in the world, as the 1911 census shows Thomas working as a farm labourer at the age of 66 and lodging with a laundress in Lime Walk. He was buried with his wife on 14 September 1918, and is described as a haulier in the burial register.)

Highfield Dairy 1903–1964

Former dairy, All Saints Road

Hathaway milk bottle

In 1903 William Hathaway, who was born in Headington but had been working as a milk carrier in London, moved into 73 Lime Walk and started up his own dairy business there. He and his sons kept a herd of cows near Lime Walk and delivered milk all over Headington and Quarry. Soon they rented the Wootten’s meadow between Old High Street and Osler Road (now built up with houses, including Stephen Road).

It was the Hathaways who built the dairy shop facing All Saints Road (above) at some point between 1903 and 1921.

William Hathaway (45) is shown in the 1911 census living with his wife Clara (46) and four of his children at 73 Lime Walk. He is described as a dairyman working at home on his own account, while his eldest son William (20) was his father’s milk carrier, and his daughter Ellen (19) was an assistant in the business. His other sons, Frank (13), who was to die in the First World War, and Harry (10), who was eventually to take over the business, were still at school.

William Hathaway called his shop in All Saints Road the Highfield Dairy, and he was still listed as a dairyman in Kelly’s Directory for 1938. He died at the Radcliffe Infirmary the following year at the age of 73 and was buried at Headington Cemetery on 6 October 1939. In the latter days of Hathaway’s Dairy the horse and delivery cart were still kept in All Saints Road, but the milk was picked up from Burton’s Dairy depot in Stephen Road by William’s youngest son Harry, who did the deliveries.

Right: Milk bottle inscribed

Hay loft

The building to the east of the retail dairy (left) was older and first appears on the 1899 OS map (see above). It was probably built soon after 1887 by the carrier Thomas Goodgame, and the door on the first floor was presumably first used for loading his horse-drawn carts.

As the Hathaways did not get rid of the building when they moved in, they probably used it to load milk churns.



Following her husband’s death in 1939, Mrs Clara Hathaway had moved to 8 Alexandra Road (now Gathorne Road). She died there at the age of 79 and was buried with her husband on 30 August 1943.

By 1941 the Hathaway shop had been taken over by Burton’s Dairies Ltd (based at the present 89 London Road), and for the first time the house at 73 Lime Walk became a private dwelling, separate from the commercial business in All Saints Road.

In 1948 Job’s Dairies was granted planning permission (48/00151A_H) for a pasteurizing plant and milk processing building, and in 1956 (56/05466/A_H) to convert their garage into a cold store. From that date it was just a distribution centre, and the little shop in All Saints Road became a joint grocer’s shop and post office. This explains the letter box in the adjoining dairy building, although as it is a George V box dating from 1910–1936, it may have been moved from the earlier Highfield Post Office at 74 Lime Walk.

In 1964, following enforcement enquiry 64/00003/E_H “requiring the use of certain land at 73 Lime Walk, Headington, as a milk distribution depot to be discontinued”, the dairy side of the business ceased after 61 years.

The post office closed in 1984, and the shop soon afterwards. From 1998 to 2011 the premises were the office of a painting & decorating business.

Redevelopment of commercial buildings beside and behind 73 Lime Walk

In April 2011 planning application 11/00648/FUL by C. G. Burton and E. L. Woodhead relating to 73–81 Lime Walk was approved by council officers. The old buildings in the back garden of 73 Lime Walk that face All Saints Road (the former Burton’s dairy and loading shed) and the large warehouse behind accessed from Lime Walk were demolished in January 2012 and are being replaced by two x 3-bedroom houses fronting Lime Walk, plus an enlarged garden area for existing properties at 73 and at 75 to 81 (odd), and a two-storey office building fronting All Saints Road.


73 Lime Walk
(formerly No. 43)

Buildings behind 73 Lime Walk
(listed under Lime Walk)

Shop in All Saints Road
(formerly New Road)


Thomas Goodgame, Carrier


William [Alfred] Hathaway, Dairyman


Robert Henry M. Killey

(listed in Kelly’s Directory
to 1976)

Burton’s Dairies Ltd


Burton’s Dairies
Distribution Centre

(forced to close in 1964)

Edward F. J. Simmons
Grocer & Post Office


Highfield Post Office
& Grocery Stores

(D.M. Foster, proprietor)

(Mrs D. M. Foster from 1964)




Private individuals listed at
73A, B, & C Lime Walk



Highfield Stores
& Post Office


Private house


Jones & Reeves
Painters & decorators


The City Council land next to the old dairy

Adjoining land

The land to the west of the dairy in All Saints Road, stretching as far as the back gardens of New High Street, belongs to Oxford City Council, and was derelict for some years. In April 2011 this was granted outline planning permission (11/00774/CT3) for the demolition of the existing building and the erection of two two-bedroomed flats.

© Stephanie Jenkins

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