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Headington history

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Timeline


Upper
Jurassic
period

 

Headington was still under the sea
Fragments of coral and the fossils of sea urchins remain at Magdalen Quarry and Rock Edge, which was probably the boundary between a coral reef and the surrounding shallow sea

c.1000 BC

Stone Age man was living in Headington
(Artefacts found at Manor Ground and in the Quarry and Barton Lane area)

c.600 BC

Bronze Age/early Iron Age man was living in Headington
(Artefacts found at Manor Ground and Ruskin College)

AD 
 100–300

Roman Headington
(Villa found at Headington Wick, kilns on site of present Churchill Hospital and NE end of The Slade, and pottery in Barton, Ruskin College, etc)

 500

Saxons were living in Headington
(Burial ground discovered on site of present Stephen Road)

 912

Oxford had been carved out of the royal domain of Headington by this date

1004

King Ethelred granted the tithes of the “royal vill” of Headington (“Headan dune”) to St Frideswide Priory in Oxford on St Andrewstide (7 December 1004)

1009

King Ethelred is believed to have had a palace in Headington by this date

1086

Domesday Book recorded details about Headington that show the King had regained the ownership of it from St Frideswide’s Priory.

Two Hundreds were then attached to the royal manor of Headington: the Bullingdon Hundred, which survived until 1930, and the Soterlawa (later the Northgate) Hundred

1122

First mention of St Andrew’s Church, Headington (in a charter of Henry I)

1135

Death of Henry I, the last king to reside in Headington

1142

Headington Manor was sold by the King to Hugh de Pluggenait

1200

The windmill was already in existence on Windmill Road

Cow burial from the twelfth or early thirteenth century was discovered near Stoke House

1246

The hamlet of Barton was well established, as it was already known as “Old Barton”. The Hundred Rolls of 1279 record eleven households there

1300s

The Manor of Headington continued to control land from Headington Wick in the east to Binsey in the west, and from Sescut Farm in Wolvercote in the north to Shotover in the south

1396

Quarrying began in earnest: New College bell-tower was built of Headington stone

1451

The ecclesiastical parish of Marston was united with Headington

1474

William Orchard leased a quarry in Headington for stone to build Magdalen College

1482

Start of the rule of the Brome/Whorwood dynasty as Lords of the Manor of Headington

1498

Mention of a wayside cross in Headington, probably at High Cross Bush (the Headington carfax)

1551

The Oxford printer Herman Evans had a house in Headington

1574

The road from Headington to Oxford (now Old Road, Warneford Lane, and Cheney Lane) was improved to transport stone down to Oxford via the Milham Ford to build Cardinal College (Christ Church)

1591

The Churchwardens of Headington were charged with having cut down “custom-boughs at Whitsuntide for the Church”

1600

The earliest part of the Rookery (now Ruskin College) was built

1605

Corpus Christi College produced what is probably the earliest surviving map of the whole Headington area, showing all the lands owned by the college. St Andrew’s Road is named as “Highe Streete” and Cuckoo Lane as “Oxforde Waye”.

1615

A hamlet began to develop around the stone pits at Quarry

1646

Civil War: The Parliamentarian Sir Thomas Fairfax moved his headquarters from Marston to Headington

1667

Mileway stone set up near Gipsy Lane

1676

Charles Beauclair, first son of Charles II and Nell Gwynn, was created Baron Headington

1681

Date of the earliest surviving Headington parish register of St Andrew's Church

1700

The terraced walkway up Headington Hill was created by public subscription of the University

Highfield Farmhouse was built at about this time

1718

A fire in Old Headington destroyed 24 dwellings

Thomas Hearne recorded that “a great part of the Church Yard … is turned to a prophane Use, and separated from the other Part … by a wall, as if it did not at all belong to it.”

c.1770

Headington Manor House was built

c.1780

William Jackson, founder of Jackson’s Oxford Journal, built Headington House

1782

Headington was now well known for bull-baiting, and a near riot occurred there this year when undergraduates, prevented by villagers from tying a cat to a bull's tail, embarked on an orgy of destruction, halted only by the arrival of the proctors

c.1790

The New London Road was cut through fields between Headington Hill and Wheatley, and three milestones were erected in the part passing through the Headington area

1793/4

Tom Paine’s effigy was burnt at Headington on 4 January 1793/4

c.1800

Bury Knowle House was built

1801

Population of Headington: 669

1804

Headington Enclosure Act and subsequent unrest in Quarry over their funeral path to Old Headington

1805

Free School opened in Headington Quarry

1813

The Lords of the Manor of Headington sold 315 outlying acres of Headington manorial land, comprising most of Headington Quarry and land to the south-west of Old Road and the north-west of Dunstan Road

1824

The original Headington Hill Hall (now just a wing of the present building) was completed for James Morrell senior

1826

Warneford Asylum (Headington’s first hospital) was built

1830

Headington’s first nonconformist chapel (Methodist) opened in Trinity Road, Quarry

1834

The Headington Union of 22 parishes was set up under the Poor Law Amendment Act

1834

Headington’s second nonconformist chapel (Baptist) opened in the Croft

1836

The 345 remaining acres of the lands of Headington Manor were put up for auction on 3 August 1836; all the land was finally sold in 1846

1837

Registration of Births, Marriages, and Deaths began. Headington became a registration district including parishes as far away as Wheatley and the whole of north Oxford and St Clement's

1838

A new Union Workhouse was built on London Road near Gladstone Road

1840

Old Headington Infant School opened in North Place

Headington's first Post Office opened in Old High Street early in the 1840s

1841

Population of Headington at census: 1,668

1848

Headington National School opened on London Road

1849

Headington Quarry became a separate parish on the opening of Holy Trinity Church

1852

New Headington village was laid out (the present New High Street, Bateman Street, and the grid of small roads to the south)

1858

The newer, grander Headington Hill Hall was completed by James Morrell junior

1860

A new, larger Methodist Chapel opened in Headington Quarry

1864

Headington Quarry National School opened

1871

All Saints Mission Chapel opens in Church (now Perrin) Street

1871

Wingfield Convalescent Home opened on the present site of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre)

1873

New Headington Infant School opened in Church (now Perrin) Street

John Mattock started his rose-growing business in William (now Wilberforce) Street

1875

Land for on top of Headington Hill was purchased for a reservoir to serve east Oxford (but not Headington)

1877

The Revd John Taylor of the Rookery started to sell off the lands of Highfield Farm. The development of the Highfield estate began with a villa on London Road (first known as Ellerslie, later as Dorset House)

Margaret Road recreation ground was given to the people of Headington in exchange for rights over the Open Magdalen

1878

The London Road was disturnpiked

1879

The development of Pullen’s Lane started with The Pullens

c.1880

The windmill on Windmill Road was pulled down

The toll-gates were removed from the central Headington carfax

The British Workman opened in Old High Street

1881

The area of the civil parish of Headington, estimated at 2,171 acres; was enlarged by the addition of land towards Shotover

1884

The southern part of Lime Walk was built

1885

Headington Cemetery opened

1887

Formation of Headington Silver Band (now the City of Oxford Silver Band)

1889

Following the Local Government Act of 1888, the Municipal Borough of Oxford was extended eastwards to match the parliamentary borough. As a result, the part of Headington to the west of the Boundary Brook (which runs beside the White Horse, now underground) became part of Oxford, including the Warneford Hospital

1891

Population of Headington at census: 3,005
(Old Headington 879, Headington Quarry 1,080, New Headington 1,046)

Area of the civil parish of Headington now 2,257 acres

1892

The Co-op opened on the corner of London and Windmill Road in a new building (now Finders Keepers and a nail bar) newly erected on the site of former toll-house: the first shop on the London Road

Boundary stones were set up on Boundary Brook by Cuckoo Lane and Headington Road to mark the new 1889 boundary between Oxford and Headington

1893

Headington Football Club (later Headington United and eventually Oxford United) was founded

West's Nursery opened on Windmill Road

1894

Headington Rural District Council, covering much of the countryside to the east of Oxford, was created (map)

1899

Cecil Sharp saw William Kimber morris-dancing at Sandfield Cottage on London Road, and this led to the revival of English folk music

1902

A reservoir opened on Shotover, and gradually Headington began to get piped water for the first time

1908

Headington’s first council school opened on Margaret Road

1909

Joe Pullen’s Tree, Headington’s famous landmark, was burnt down

In September the Conservative van touring the county with propaganda against the People's Budget was overturned in Headington Quarry

1910

All Saints Church in Lime Walk opened, and New Headington village plus the newer houses built on the former Highfield Farm became a separate parish from St Andrew’s, known as Highfield

1911

Population of Headington at census: 4,488

1913

The 1½-mile residence limit for members of Congregation was abolished, leading to dons’ families moving to Old Headington, and to new houses built at the western end of Old Road in the 1920s

1914

The brickfields in Quarry ceased operation

1916

Many Headington men died at the Somme. The eventual total of Headington dead in World War I was 123

1917

The last Lord of the Manor of Headington (Colonel James Hoole) died, and the Trustees of the Radcliffe Infirmary bought the Manor House and its lands

1918

The Revd John Stansfeld bought 20 acres of land to south-east of Quarry Road to give children from St Ebbe's a holiday: originally called St Ebba's, later the Stansfeld Outdoor Centre

1919

C. S. Lewis came to lodge in Headington and stayed for the rest of his life

1920

Headington was connected to the city sewage system

1921

Population of Headington at census: 5,328

1923

Headington's “New Cinema” (later the Moulin Rouge) was officially opened at 5.40pm on Monday 8 October 1923

1925

101 council houses (the first in Oxford) were built on the north-east side of the London Road in Headington

1926

First city bus service to Headington, terminating at Green Road

Shirley Hall in Lime Walk, a large wooden hall provided by Mr J. Shirley of the London Road, was opened by him as a central Headington meeting place for over 350 persons (now the site of St  Ebbe’s in Headington)

1927

Headington Urban District Council was formed at the request of the parish council. It only lasted a few years, but in that time purchased land on the Barton estate for 60 homes, acquired land for a public open space in Windmill Road (now St Leonard’s Road car park), passed more than 200 plans to erect homes, and granted nearly 40 private enterprise subsidies

(3 Feb) The Osler Pavilion for Consumptives (later the Osler Hospital) was opened by Neville Chamberlain, Minister of Health, on the John Radcliffe site

1928

The Parish of Headington (1,529 acres, all to the east of Gipsy Lane) was incorporated into the City of Oxford under the Oxford Extension Act of 1928, and became part of the civil parish of St Giles and St John. The the rest of Headington was distributed among Elsfield (one acre), Forest Hill (46 acres), Stowood (252 acres), and Horspath (127 acres)

(12 October) Headington Conservative Club opened on the corner of Windmill road and Bateman Street

1929

Headington Urban District Council was dissolved in August 1929, and the City Council took over the new suburb. Headington was quickly brought up to city standards, getting electricity and telephone for the first time, and better pavements. The Bullingdon Hundred no longer existed.

C.S. Lewis bought The Kilns in Risinghurst with his brother and Mrs Moore

1930

Headington School moved into its present site on Headington Road

314 council houses were built on the new Gipsy Lane estate

Headington Telephone Exchange was now open at the top of Lime Walk

The city council purchased Bury Knowle House and park

1931

The population of Headington was now 10,131, nearly double what it was ten years earlier, mostly because of the development of Morris Motors

Headington Workhouse became a hospital called The Laurels

1932

Bury Knowle Park was opened to the public

Oxford Preservation Trust bought 50 acres of South Park (handing it over to the city in 1959 to be preserved as an open space)

Abolition of the Headington registration district that had covered the 22 parishes of the old Headington Union. Henceforth births, marriages, and deaths that took place in Headington were registered in Oxford

Lime Walk Methodist Church opened, and the old chapel in New High Street became the church hall

1932

Wingfield-Morris Orthopaedic Hospital opened in grounds of the Wingfield Convalescent Home (now Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre)

1934

Bury Knowle Library was the first branch library to be opened in the city of Oxford

Quarry Village Hall opened in Margaret Road

(4 April) Magdalen College sold to Lord Nuffield all the lands of Wood Farm, including Open Magdalen, on condition that the latter was kept as a permanent open space (now Magdalen Wood)

1935

The Northern Bypass between the present Headington to Banbury Road roundabouts (unemployment relief work) was completed

1936

The Oxford Youth Hostel opened in Jack Straw’s Lane

Headington’s first Roman Catholic Church (Corpus Christi) opened in Margaret Road

c.1938

Slade Territorial Army Barracks opened

Headington Sorting Office opened in Lime Walk in part of the telephone exchange building

1939

The Slade Hospital opened on 3 February to replace the Cold Arbour Isolation Hospital

Oxford Crematorium opened in Bayswater Road

1940

The Churchill Hospital was built to provide wartime medical services

1946–8

Barton council estate was built.
In 1948 the hut used by foreman of works was purchased by the Society of King Charles the Martyr as a place of worship and presented to St Andrew’s Church

1951

Building of 570 council houses at Northway started

c.1952

Lord Nuffield sold the land of Wood Farm and Magdalen Wood (which he had bought from Magdalen College for £26,000 in 1934) to Oxford City Council

1953

Building of 510 council houses started at Wood Farm

J. R. R. Tolkien moved to 76 Sandfield Road

Oxford City Council bought Headington Hill Hall and Park from the Morrell family

Planning application 53/02894/A_H granted for Slade Park Fire Station in Horspath Driftway

1954

Lord Nuffield laid the foundation stone of Oxford College of Technology at Gipsy Lane (now Oxford Brookes University)

c.1955

The Headington Telephone Exchange moved from Lime Walk to its present site on the London Road behind the petrol station

1956

Oxford City Council adopted the first green belt outside London, offering protection to Headington north of the Bayswater Brook

The Church of England created the Conventional District of Bayswater to serve both the Barton and Sandhills estates

1958

260 council houses were built at Town Furze

Consecration of St Mary’s Church in Bayswater Road

Headley Way was extended southwards through Woodlands Road and right up to the London Road

1959

 

80 council houses were built at Headington Quarry

Robert Maxwell started to rent Headington Hill Hall for Pergamon Press

Old houses on Green Road in Headington Quarry were demolished to make way for the new eastern bypass linking Headington and Rose Hill

Oxford dealt with the duplication of street names that had resulted from the creation of new suburbs in 1929, and about fifteen names in the three former Headington villages changed

1960

A subway was installed in Headington shopping centre

Headington's second Roman Catholic church, St Anthony of Padua, opened in Headley Way

1963

Opening of Regional Hospital Board Offices off Old Road

1964

The Laurels (the hospital on the site of the former workhouse which had closed in 1960), was demolished

1965

Building of Plowman Tower, Oxford’s first multi-storey block, started

(Jan) Planning application 65/10079/A_H to build Forester’s Tower at Wood Farm approved

(Feb) Planning application 65/16008/A_H for the Laurels estate (former workhouse site) between Gladstone Road and Pitts Road was approved. This was for one shop, 156 flats, and 43 dwelling houses and garages,
and was ollowed by further applications up to 1975

1967

All Saints Church House was opened by Princess Margaret on 24 March

1968

Building started on Phase 1 (maternity department) of the John Radcliffe Hospital

1969

The Osler Hospital closed and was demolished as part of the clearance of the John Radcliffe site

1970

Oxford College of Technology was redesignated Oxford Polytechnic

1971

Old Headington and Headington Quarry were designated Conservation Areas

On 12 November 1971 the Marston Ferry Road was extended, replacing the old ferry and providing a new route to Headington via Headley Way

1975

150 council houses were built on site of the Laurels (former workhouse) in Gladstone Road

The creation of the Oxfordshire Green Belt offered protection to the land north of the Bayswater Brook lying between the Bayswater Road and the Marston flyover

Oxford adopted a three-tier system of education. Bayswater Middle School and Headington Middle School opened, and primary schools became first schools

1977

The number of houses built at Barton reached 1600

Headington Hill was designated a Conservation Area

The 190 bus service (later the Espress and then the X90) was the first regular non-stop service between Headington and London (withdrawn in 2020)

1970s/1980s

Doris Field Memorial Park was created in Jack Straw's Lane

1982

St Luke’s Hospital moved to Latimer Road

Planning permission 82/00211/GF was granted to build 54 council dwellings at Mattock Close on the land of Mattock’s Nurseries off Windmill Road

1983

St Mary’s Church on the Bayswater Road was granted full parish status

Planning permission 83/00565/GFH was granted to build a small council estate on the lands of Laurel Farm in Old Headington

1984

The first tenants moved into McMaster House in Latimer Road

1985

Opening of Thornhill Park & Ride

1986

The shark was erected on the roof of 2 New High Street

1990

Planning permission was granted for “Little Oxford” estate to the south of Old Road (Demesne Furze, Mileway Gardens, Skene Close, Acland Drive, and Roosevelt Drive)

1991

The Oxfordshire (District Boundaries) Order 1991 came into force in March. Oxford's administrative boundary was extended eastwards as far as the Thornhill Park & Ride, and its first boundary stone for 90 years was erected there. The Risinghurst ward of South Oxfordshire District Council was abolished, and the new city ward of Old Marston & Risinghurst was created

Robert Maxwell died, and Headington Hill Hall was repossessed with 84 years still to run on the lease

Headington Cinema (latterly known as Not the Moulin Rouge) closed

1992

Oxford Polytechnic became Oxford Brookes University, named after John Henry Brookes, and took on the lease of Headington Hill Hall

Headington Quarry ecclesiastical parish was reduced in size. Its boundary to the south-west was now the Boundary Brook, but two proposed building sites (Little Oxford and the Warneford Meadow) were included to the west

1999

Redevelopment of the corner of London Road and New High Street began following planning permission granted in January for two retail units (with twelve flats above) in place of the shops at 80, 82, 84, 86, 88, 90, 92, & 94 London Road and 1–1C New High Street including the cinema (98/01284/NF)

Development started on the Slade Hospital site (Awgar Stone Road)

1990s

Development of the University of Oxford Old Road Campus began in earnest

2001

Oxford United played its last game on the Manor Ground

Planning permission 01/00849/NF granted for 23 more homes on the former Slade Hospital site

2002

The five old city council wards covering the north-east area of Oxford (Headington; Quarry; Wood Farm; Old Marston & Risinghurst; and New Marston) were abolished

Five new city council wards were formed: Barton & Sandhills; Churchill; Headington; Headington Hill & Northway; and Marston, which all came under the new North-East Area Committee

Headington Hill Park was taken out of St Clement's ward and apportioned to the new Headington Hill & Northway ward

A big Street Party for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee was held in Old Headington

2003

The return to a two-tier system of education was completed and
Headington Middle School, Bayswater Middle School, and Headington Quarry First School closed down.

Windmill Primary School moved into the Headington Middle School buildings, Bayards Hill Primary School (the new name for Barton First School) moved into the former Bayswater School buildings, and Headington Nursery School moved into the Headington Quarry School buildings

The first Headington Festival took place

Headington Committee for Development Action (now Headington Action) was registered as a charity

Planning permission was granted for the demolition of Ritchie Russell House and the erection of the Oxford Cancer Centre on the Churchill Hospital site

2004

Planning permission for 115 homes on the site of Barton Village First School was granted (04/00383/RES, modified by 05/00376/RES)

The first pavement cycle lanes appeared on the London and Headington Roads

2005

The Manor Hospital opened on the former Manor Ground

Headington postal distribution and collection office in Lime Walk closed down

(2 July) The No. 2 bus that ran from Barton through Headington to the city centre and then on to Summertown and Kidlington made its last journey, and was replaced by the No. 8 terminating in Oxford

2006

Headington Baptist Church opened its new building on its Old High Street site in November

The EF Language School took over the Plater College buildings in Pullen’s Lane

The planned move of the Bishop of Oxford and the Diocesan Offices to Headington was thwarted by a restrictive covenant on Pullen's End

2007

The Radcliffe Infirmary completed its move to Headington

The Oxford Children’s Hospital and West Wing opened on the John Radcliffe site

St Ebbe’s in Headington Church opened in the former Shirley Hall (latterly the Exclusive Brethren Church) in Lime Walk

Headington Market (originally Headington Farmers' Market) was established at the top of Kennett Road by Headington Action

2008

 

Slade Territorial Army Barracks closed down, and the OBLI Museum and the Oxford Boer War Memorial moved to Dalton Barracks The site was bought by Berkeley Homes for £11 million, and work began on a new housing development

Work started on widening and improving the Headington and London Road

The special Armed Forces Department of Pathology opened at the John Radcliffe Hospital, and repatriation tributes to soldiers killed in Afghanistan started in Headley Way on 16 June

2009

 

The Oxford Cancer Centre opened on the Churchill site

A 20mph speed limit came into operation in Headington centre and on all minor roads in Headington and Marston (1 September)

Dorset House on the London Road was demolished by Quintain, who then sold the site to Berkeley Homes for £5m

 

2010

 

The Warneford Meadow was registered as a Town Green

The Headington subway was filled in as part of the second phase of the London Road scheme

2011

 

The Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust was formed, including the whole of the John Radcliffe Hospital, the Churchill Hospital, and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre

The EF International Academy took over Cotuit Hall

The eighteenth-century walled garden at Ruskin College was restored

The North-East Area Committee was abolished in May. It was replaced by the East Area Planning Committee (plus North-East Area Forum meetings every three months, but the latter had faded away by the end of 2014

2012

 

A Sikh Temple (Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Oxford) opened at 295–297 London Road

Ruskin College moved its entire operation to the Ruskin Hall site in Old Headington

The first Brookes students moved into the new housing on the Dorset House site

2013

 

Abacus College moved to Headington (closed 2017)

2015

 

Thomas Homes completed The Willows development on the former Barton Road Cricket Ground

The Oxford Trust purchased the Stansfeld Outdoor Centre in Quarry

2016

 

House building began on the new Barton Park estate

Access to Headington” road improvement scheme began

Work began on the £14.8 million Hospital Energy Project linking the Churchill with the John Radcliffe Hospital

Lock Court opened on the former city council depot site in Bury Knowle Park

2017

 

The Big Data Institute was opened on the Old Road Campus by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond

Beech House at 36–40 London Road (on the corner of Latimer Road) opened as an accommodation block for Brookes students

The Headington Neighbourhood Plan was adopted

2018

 

Cala Homes marketed the first of the 52 new homes off Waynflete Road and Bayswater Farm Road (on the site of the former Bayswater Park) at prices ranging from £300,950 to £715,950

Christ Church purchased Wick Farm to add to existing land north of the Bayswater Brook with a view to future development

2019

 

The first council houses at Barton Park were occupied

South Oxfordshire District Council added all the Christ Church land north of the Bayswater Brook (running from the Marston Flyover to the Bayswater Road) to its Local Plan as a site for development, but the new council elected in May tried to overturn the decision

Consultation took place on the possible creation of a Headington Parish Council

Anytime Fitness opened in the former Abacus College premises

See also Brief History of Headington

© Stephanie Jenkins

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