Headington Hill Hall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
View of Headington Hill Hall.

Headington Hill Hall stands on Headington Hill in the east of Oxford, England.[1] It was built in 1824 for the Morrell family, local brewers, and was extended between 1856 and 1858, by James Morrell Jr. (1810–1863) who built an Italianate mansion designed by architect John Thomas.[2] The family remained in residence for 114 years.

Oscar Wilde, gaudily dressed as Prince Rupert, attended an all-night fancy dress May Day Ball given by Mr and Mrs Herbert Morrell at the Hall for around three hundred guests on 1 May 1878.[3] Lady Ottoline Morrell (1873–1938), who owned the Hall for a period,[4] was particularly associated with the Bloomsbury Group as a hostess.

From 1939, the property was requisitioned by the government for use as a military hospital during World War II. After the war, it became a rehabilitation centre, run by the Red Cross and the Order of St John.[5]

In 1953 James Morrell III sold Headington Hill Hall to Oxford City Council. It continued to be used as a rehabilitation centre until 1958.[5]

Subsequently, the publisher Robert Maxwell (1923–1991), founder of Pergamon Press, leased the building from Oxford City Council for 32 years as both a residence and offices. He described it as the "best council house in the country."[6] Maxwell commissioned a stained-glass window depicting Samson at the Gates of Gaza by Israeli sculptor Nehemia Azaz for the imperial staircase.[7]

Since 1992, the Council has leased the property to the nearby Oxford Brookes University.[8] It houses a number of Law lectures, and the Oxford Brookes University School of Law.[9][circular reference]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Headington Hill Hall, Headington, Oxford, Oxfordshire, English Heritage.
  2. ^ Headington Hill Hall (Oxford Brookes University) Archived 2013-08-18 at the Wayback Machine, Headington, Oxford.
  3. ^ Maria Pia Bobbioni, The subconscious of the dandy, POL.it.
  4. ^ Eugenics Society Members List — Me–Mz.
  5. ^ a b "Headington Hill Hall". www.headington.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2013-08-18. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  6. ^ "Robert Maxwell (1923–1991)", Headington History
  7. ^ Historic England. "Headington Hill Hall (1047044)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  8. ^ Headington Hill Hall Archived 2008-03-18 at the Wayback Machine, Oxford Brookes University, UK.
  9. ^ "School of Law, Oxford Brookes University". www.law.brookes.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-26.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°45′18.28″N 1°13′52.08″W / 51.7550778°N 1.2311333°W / 51.7550778; -1.2311333