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Headington history: Pubs and beerhouses

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Former Prince’s Castle, 9 Barton Village Road


Prince's Castle

The Princes Castle was immediately to the right of Barton Manor. It is the house with twin gables and a sign between the windows just behind the group of people in the above postcard, which dates from before 1905. The building still survives today.

(There was another pub, The Fox, further up the hill at 1 Barton Village Road: its sign can just be see on the thatched cottage at the top.)

The former building (now demolished)

A blacksmith’s and stables were built next door to Barton Manor in the seventeenth century, and the building was nicknamed “The Castle”.

The building was already being used as a beerhouse in 1869, when the landlord was the market gardener James Lock.

In the 1871 census the beerhouse is named as The Prince of Wales, and John Brimfield (50), the licensed victualler, was living here with his wife Rebeckah and their four children.

The landlord in 1887 was C. Jacobs.

This stables building was pulled down and replaced in the early 1890s.

The present building (now a private house)

Hall’s Brewery built a proper pub called the Prince's Castle here in the early 1890s, and the Oxford Chronicle of 31 August 1900 reports on alterations made by the architect J. R. Wilkins.

At the time of the 1901 census the landlord William Robert Cross (29), a gardener and publican born in Paulerspury, Northants, was living at the Prince's Castle with his wife Annie (30) and their daughter Alice Maud (2).

In 1911 William Collins (39), who was born in Maidenhead and described himself as an army pensioner, gymnastic instructor, and publican working from home, was living at the Prince's Castle with his wife Ada and a little girl called Louie Arnold (7) who later took over the tenancy with her husband.

The Prince's Castle was numbered 11 The Village, Barton Road from 1930, but after some renumbering in about 1952 its address was 9 Barton Village Road.

The pub closed in the 1980s and is now a private house.

The Princes Castle
The Prince’s Castle in the 1950s

Some landlords of the Prince's Castle after
the cottage was rebuilt as a proper pub in 1894
  • 1894: Thomas Hughes (also market gardener)
  • 1895: Tom Edward Hughes (also market gardener)
  • 1896: Richard Hathaway
  • 1898: Humphrey Cross
  • 1901–1903: William Richard Cross (also market gardener)
  • 1904–1907: Henry G. Newman (also market gardener)
  • 1909: Charles Neville
  • 1910–1938: William Collins and his wife Ada
  • 1940–1956: Ernest F. E. Grain and his wife Louie

After 1956, Kelly's Directory stopped listing the names of landlords.

Photographs of the Prince's Castle and some of the landlords and landladies can be seen in The Changing Faces of Headington, Book 1, p. 115.

The Fox in 2020The former Fox pub, now a private house, in 2020

© Stephanie Jenkins

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