Oxford Preservation Trust

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Aerial view of Oxford city centre

The Oxford Preservation Trust was founded in 1927 to preserve the city of Oxford, England. The Trust seeks to enhance Oxford by encouraging thoughtful development and new design, while protecting historic buildings and green open spaces.

The Trust is a registered charity[1] and is run by a board of trustees and an executive committee. It employs five staff including its Director, Debbie Dance.

The Trust is a member of the Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board.


The Trust's notable projects have included the successful conversion in the early 1990's of St George's Tower on the Oxford Castle site into a popular tourist attraction. It has also published reports advising on the redevelopment of parts of Oxford including Broad Street and the former site of the terminus of the Oxford Canal opposite the end of George Street.

The Trust has an ongoing role in preserving Oxford's green belt. To this end it owns several pieces of land at Boars Hill and elsewhere in and around Oxford. In 2007[2] and 2008[3] the Trust successfully opposed the Bodleian Library's proposal to build a new book depository that would have obstructed a view from Boar's Hill of Oxford's skyline that the poet Matthew Arnold (1822–1888) called the city's "dreaming spires".


During its history OPT has been chaired by a number of prominent academic and other figures.[4] Several have chaired OPT at the same time as being vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford.


Some of OPT's Secretaries have also been prominent academic or other figures:[5]

  • Miss H.E. Fitzrandolph (1936–45)
  • John Betjeman (1946–49)
  • Sam Smith, JP (1949–58)
  • Sir Douglas Veale (1958–62)
  • Ivan Lloyd-Phillips (1962–66)
  • R.W.S. Malcolm (1966–78)
  • Alderman Frank Pickstock (1978–82)
  • Mrs. Helen Turner (1982–90)
  • Mrs. Moyra Haynes (1990–98)
  • Mrs. Debbie Dance (1998– )

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Charity Commission. THE OXFORD PRESERVATION TRUST, registered charity no. 203043.
  2. ^ Oxford Mail 20 November 2007
  3. ^ Oxford Mail 10 September 2008
  4. ^ Chairmen: list framed and hung on the wall of the first floor meeting room at OPT's offices, 10 Turn Again Lane, Oxford
  5. ^ Secretaries: list framed and hung on the wall of the first floor meeting room at OPT's offices, 10 Turn Again Lane, Oxford

External links[edit]