High Street, Oxford
The High Street from St Mary's, looking east
|Other name(s)||The High|
|East end||Magdalen Bridge|
|Known for||Oxford colleges and buildings|
The street has been described by Nikolaus Pevsner as "one of the world's great streets". It forms a gentle curve and is the subject of many prints, paintings, photographs, etc. The vista looking west towards Carfax with University College on the left and The Queen's College on the right is an especially popular view. There are many historical buildings on the street, including the University of Oxford buildings and colleges. Locally the street is often known as "The High".
To the north are (west to east): Lincoln College (main entrance on Turl Street, including All Saints Church, now Lincoln College's library.), Brasenose College (main entrance in Radcliffe Square), St Mary's (the University Church), All Souls College, The Queen's College, St Edmund Hall (main entrance in Queen's Lane) and Magdalen College (including Magdalen Tower).
To the south are (west to east): Oriel College, University College (including the Boyle-Hooke plaque outside the Shelley Memorial), the Examination Schools, the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, the Eastgate Hotel (at the original entrance to the city) and the Botanic Garden.
Queen's Lane Coffee House (at the junction with Queen's Lane) was established in 1654 and was probably Oxford's first coffee house. This title is however disputed with 'The Grand Cafe' Coffee House, which claims that it was established in 1650 and stands opposite Queen's Lane coffee house.
Despite an influx of chain stores in nearby Cornmarket Street, the High is home to a number of specialist independent retailers. These include Shepherd & Woodward (University outfitters), Payne & Son (goldsmiths), Sanders of Oxford (print sellers) and Waterfield's Books. To the north at the eastern end between Cornmarket and the Turl is the historic traditional Covered Market, established in 1774.
Edward Bracher, a pioneering Victorian photographer, had a shop at 26 High Street. Henry Taunt, another photographer, joined him as a member of staff in 1856. Taunt later returned to 41 High Street after the lease for his own shop premises in Broad Street expired in 1894.
83 High Street bears a blue plaque (10 October 2001) commemorating Sarah Cooper (1848–1932) marmalade maker, wife of Frank Cooper whose shop at 83–84 High Street was the origin of the Frank Cooper jam business (a brand now owned by Premier Foods). The company made "Oxford Marmalade" famous.
In June 1879, George Claridge Druce (also a noted botanist and later mayor of the city) moved to Oxford and set up a chemist's shop, Druce & Co., at 118 High Street. This continued until his death 1932.
The architectural critic Nikolaus Pevsner wrote in 1974 that
The following streets, also of historical significance, are off the High Street:
View eastwards towards The Queen's College.
Students congregating in the High outside the Examination Schools.
Carfax, at the western end of the High Street.
The High Street, near the entrance to The Queen's College, looking east.
Night view of the High Street with Christmas lights, looking east from Carfax.
Big Issue magazine seller on the pavement in the High Street.
- Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). "The High Street and the Streets off the High Street". The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Penguin Books. pp. 306–311. ISBN 0-14-071045-0.
- Hibbert, Christopher, ed. (1988). "High Street". The Encyclopaedia of Oxford. Macmillan. pp. 183–185. ISBN 0-333-39917-X.
- Stephanie Jenkins, History of the High.
- William Henry Butler: Mayor of Oxford, January–October 1836, Mayors of Oxford.
- Stephanie Jenkins, The High – Quotations
- Article on the street[permanent dead link] in the Oxford Mail
- Jude the Obscure in Google Books. The comment is made by a carter describing Christminster, Hardy's pseudonym for Oxford.
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