Headington history: Pubs and beerhouses

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The Six Bells

Six Bells in 2018

The Six Bells at 3 Beaumont Road in Headington Quarry was originally a private house and dates in part from 1782. It was a pub by the early nineteenth century, and was named after the six bells of St Andrew’s Church (its parish until 1849).

In December 1850 the Six Bells is named thus in the Headington Rate-Book and shown as being both owned and occupied by George Coppock, with a gross estimated rental of £10 10s. and a rateable value of £8.

The following appeared in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 8 September 1860:

A new license was granted to Mr. George Coppock, of the Six Bells beer-house, at Headington Quarry, in consequence of the great increase in the population of that neighbourhood, a recommendation having been signed by the principal inhabitants of Headington in favour of the applicant, and no opposition offered.

It was a free house in 1882 when Morrells Brewery (who had previously supplied the beer) bought it.

When Morrell’s Brewery closed in 1998 it became a Greene King pub.

In October 2018 it was taken over by new management but remained a Greene King venue.

Morris Dancing at the Six Bells Morris dancing at the Six Bells, Boxing Day 2007

Some landlords of the Six Bells

By 1850–1892

George Coppock

The 1851 census shows George Coppock (38) listed as the publican at the Six Bells. He is living with his wife Martha Ann (36) and his two children: Frederick (11) and George (6). They have a 13-year-old servant girl.

The household is much the same in 1861, except that George is listed as a “Quarryman and Publican”. By 1871 George is described as a brick merchant, and the children have left home; in 1881 the pub is referred to simply as “The Bells”.

In 1891 the beerhouse is referred to grandly as the “Six Bells Inn”, and George calls himself a “ Brick Merchant & Innkeeper”.

George died at the pub later that year at the age of 78, and was buried at Holy Trinity churchyard on 22 August 1891.


Thomas Boulger
(the listing of Thomas Rodger in 1893 only is probably an error)

The 1901 census shows Thomas N. Boulger, aged 52 and born in Ireland, described as “Inn Keeper” here. He was living with his Iffley-born wife Sarah (43) and their children Arthur (16), Reginald (14), Rose (14), and Marcelle (8).


William Henry Jones


William Kimber


Albert Horwood
Horwood died at the Six Bells at the age of 50 after only one year as landlord, and was buried at Holy Trinity churchyard on 17 April 1923

1925 only

William Henry Coppock


Ernest Kislingbury
In 1929 Kislingbury retired to nearby 7 Beaumont Road, where he died at the age of 50. He was buried in Holy Trinity churchyard on 6 May 1940


William H. Phipps (by 1935–1938)

Mrs M. J. Phipps (by 1943–1955)


Maurice Prestidge

The Six Bells

© Stephanie Jenkins

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