Headington history: Streets

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Headington Hill & Road: Introduction

Headington Hill became part of the City of Oxford much earlier than the rest of Headington:

  • 1832: The City of Oxford expanded eastwards to include not only St Clement’s,
    but also Headington Hill as far as Pullen’s Lane: map
  • 1868: The Parliamentary Borough of Oxford was extended eastwards to the Boundary Brook,
    which ran beside the White Horse: map.
  • 1889: The City of Oxford was extended eastwards to match the Parliamentary Borough. The end of Headington Road at the White Horse signalled that the traveller had reached Headington, and was now about to embark on the turnpike road to London.

Hence it is logical to include the Headington Road — which is really the continuation of Headington Hill as far as the Boundary Brook — in this section. The rest of Headington did not become part of the City of Oxford until 1929.

The semi-detached nature of the Headington Hill settlement is emphasized by the way it floats around in the censuses:

  • 1841: South side in the Quarry census (no houses on north side of the road at this time)
  • 1851: North side in Old Headington census; South side in Quarry census
  • 1861 and 1871: North and South side both in the Old Headington census
  • 1881: North side in New Headington census; south side in Old Headington census
  • 1891: North side in Old Headington census; South side in New Headington census
  • 1901 (following boundary change): North side in Old Headington census;
    South side (i.e. houses west of the Boundary Brook not included in Headington).

The old lanes behind the Headington Road are included here, but not Pullen’s Lane, which merits a section of its own.

There is another Headington Hill in Toowoomba, Australia (map), which was probably named after a large freehold estate put together in the area by G. H. Davenport.

On 15 May 1802 the new Lord of the Manor of Headington, Henry Mayne Whorwood, inserted an advertisement in Jackson’s Oxford Journal putting out to tender the contract for building a five-foot wall “from the new intended Road [Osler Road] near the White House [the old name for the Britannia] to the corner near Joe Pullen’s tree”. Much of this wall still survives today along the north side of the Headington Road.

New wall for Headington Road

  • Early directories sometimes l describe detached buildings at the the west end of Old Road (such as the White Horse and Brookside) as being “Headington Hill”.
  • The western end of Old Road, including the Warneford Asylum was also known as Headington Hill.

Hill with bridge

© Stephanie Jenkins

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