Boswells of Oxford

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The entrance to the Boswells store at night on Cornmarket Street.

Boswells of Oxford is the largest independent family-run department store in central Oxford, England.[1]

The store has been trading since 1738, and is probably the oldest family owned department store in the world. Initially founded by Francis Boswell and located at 50 Cornmarket Street.[2] Boswells started up in business manufacturing and selling luggage and trunks, and it is widely believed their wares were taken on Captain Cook's trip to explore the Southern Hemisphere. In 1928, it expanded its premises with the main entrance moving to Broad Street, opposite Balliol College and close to the spot (marked with a cross in the middle of the road) where the Oxford Martyrs were burnt at the stake.

The store is somewhat traditional in style and is a well-known local shopping landmark. It still has a smaller side entrance at the north end of Cornmarket Street. Its address is now 1-3 Broad Street.[2] The company does not use an apostrophe in its name, although others sometimes mistakenly do so.

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Coordinates: 51°45′15″N 1°15′30″W / 51.7541°N 1.2583°W / 51.7541; -1.2583