Headington history: Shops

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127, 129, & 131 London Road

127, 129, and 131 London Road

These shops were originally three private houses, numbered 11, 12, and 13 Westbourne Terrace. This terrace was built between Old High Street and Bury Knowle Park in the late 1890s.

By the 1920s, the London Road was consecutively numbered for the first time, and these three houses became Nos. 49, 51, and 53 London Road. Following a big increase in development on the Road, in 1933 the whole London Road was renumbered as it is today, and these three former houses became Nos. 127, 129, and 131.

Westbourne Terrace in c.1916
Above: Westbourne Terrace in 1916, when it was a row of private houses

Below: in the mid-1930s, when half the terrace had been turned into shopsWestbourne Terrace in the 1930s

Richard James Rowland ran his upholstery business at No. 131 from 1930 to 1947, and Albert Thomas Ager was a draper at No. 127 from 1933. By 1952 Ager’s occupied all three shops, but it closed in about 1956. No. 127 was then split off as a separate shop, but Nos 129 and 131 remained as one shop.


No. 127

No. 129

No. 131


Frederick Morris

Hedley John Wing
Cabinet maker and music teacher

William Tross


John Taylor


John Hugh Holmes

Mrs Holmes in 1930

David Hitchcock





Richard James 


Albert Thomas Ager,


Albert Thomas Ager, draper


Albert Thomas Ager, draper


Chiltern Dry Cleaners Ltd

Martin & Silver,
Photograph taken in 1957


Shanghai House


No listing

By 1976–2016 

Allen & Harris estate agents


Connell's estate agents

Occupants of these houses

1901 Census

  • No. 127: Frederick Morris (37), a gardener, lived here with his wife Sophia Jane (35) and his children Mabel (14), Edith (12), Gilbert (10), Mildred (8), Lucy (5), and Frederick (2)
  • No. 129: Hedley John Wing (29), a cabinet maker and teacher of music who worked from home, lived here with his wife Emily (30) and his only child John Henry Wing (2 months)
  • No. 131: William Tross (51), a domestic coachmen, lived here with his wife Mary (42) and five children: Gertrude (18), who was a dressmaker; Charles Herbert (16), who was a footman; Henry (13), Kate (10); and Edith (5).

1911 Census

  • No. 127: John Taylor (58), a jobbing gardener, lived here with his wife Emily (55) and three of his twelve children: Frank (17), who was a hairdresser; Albert (14), who was a grocer’s assistant; and Jessie (12), who was at school.
  • No. 129: Hedley John Wing (39), a cabinet maker who worked from home, lived here with his wife Emily Caroline (40) and his only child John Henry (10).
  • No. 131: William Tross (61), a coachman, lived here with his wife Mary (52), who was working from home as a laundress, and three of his six children: Harry (23), who was a gardener; Kate (20); and Edith (15), who was a dressmaker.

1939 Register

  • Nos. 127–129: Listed as living over all three shops was Albert T. Ager (born 22 April 1901), a draper, and Bertha M. Ager (born 24 May 1903), a draper's assistant, plus one person redacted.

© Stephanie Jenkins

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