Headington history: Descriptions

Go backwards
Go forwards

Headington in 1831

A Topographical Dictionary of England
(London: Samuel Lewis & Company, 1831)

HEADINGTON, a parish in the hundred of BULLINGTON, county of OXFORD, 1½ mile (E.N.E.) from Oxford, containing 1087 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage not in charge, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Oxford, endowed with £400 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Rev. T. H. Whorwood. The church is dedicated to St. Andrew. A school for children of both sexes is endowed with the interest of £400, the gift of Catherine Mather in 1805: there is a spacious lunatic asylum. The colleges in Oxford, and other public buildings, have been principally erected with stone dug in Headington quarry: a great quantity of bricks is made here. A field, called Court Close is said to be the site of one of the palaces of King Ethelred.


  • Map showing extent of the Bullingdon Hundred in the nineteenth century
  • The above text is probably the oldest description of Headington available in any directory, and some of this material persists almost verbatim in other directories until the end of the nineteenth century.
  • The population of Headington, including Quarry, is given in this directory as only 1087; but in fact it was higher than this in 1831, as the extract from the 1852 directory shows.
  • The school mentioned was the Free School at the Chequers in Headington Quarry.
  • The “spacious lunatic asylum” is the present Warneford Hospital.


© Stephanie Jenkins

Headington home Shark Oxford History home