Summertown, Oxford

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Summertown oxford.jpg
Summertown Parade on Banbury Road
Summertown is located in Oxford
Summertown is located in Oxfordshire
Location within Oxfordshire
OS grid referenceSP5008
Civil parish
  • unparished
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townOxford
Postcode districtOX2
Dialling code01865
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
WebsiteOxford City Council
List of places
51°46′41″N 1°15′54″W / 51.778°N 1.265°W / 51.778; -1.265Coordinates: 51°46′41″N 1°15′54″W / 51.778°N 1.265°W / 51.778; -1.265

Summertown in North Oxford is a suburb of Oxford, England. Summertown is a one-mile square residential area, north of St Giles, the boulevard leading out of Oxford's city centre. Summertown is home to several independent schools and the city's most expensive houses.[1] On both sides of Banbury Road are Summertown's popular shops. There is also a smaller street of shops and restaurants, South Parade, that links Banbury Road and Woodstock Road. Summertown is home to much of Oxford's broadcast media. BBC Radio Oxford and the BBC Television's Oxford studios are on Banbury Road. Start-ups also have an increasing presence on the parade, such as Brainomix and Passle. The studios for JACK FM, Glide FM, and Six TV Oxford (no longer broadcasting) are on Woodstock Road.


Most of North Oxford came into being as a result of the revolutionary decision by the university[when?] to permit college fellows to marry and live in real houses, as opposed to rooms in college.[1][dead link] Large houses were built on farmland either side of Banbury Road and Woodstock Road. Much of the land belonged to St John's College, Oxford and the houses were originally sold leasehold. St John's has since sold the freehold on most of these properties.[citation needed]


Church of England[edit]

Summertown's Church of England parish church is Saint Michael and All Angels in Lonsdale Road.[2] The parish originated as part of Saint Giles, Oxford, when the chapel of Saint John the Baptist was completed in Middle Way, Summertown in 1832.[3] It was a chapel of ease until 1834, when it was made a separate ecclesiastical parish.[3] The Gothic Revival architect H.J. Underwood designed St. John's in an Early English Gothic style.[3] It was cruciform with a nave, north and south transepts and a short chancel. It had no tower but there was a bell-turret on the western gable of the nave.[3] The Oxford Diocesan architect, G.E. Street extended the chancel and added the vestry in 1857.[3] In 1875 St. John's was enlarged again with the addition of north and south aisles, an organ chamber and a second vestry,[3] presumably for a choir.

The congregation outgrew St. John the Baptist so a new church, Saint Michael and All Angels in Lonsdale Road, was built to replace it in 1908–09.[3] St. John's was demolished in 1924,[3] the site was sold in 1970 and a block of flats now stands on the site.[4] St. Michael's is also a cruciform Early English Gothic Revival building, in this case designed by A.M. Mowbray.[3][5] The building has never been completed. It has a chancel, north and south transepts, vestry, and a south chapel beside the chancel, but the nave and north and south aisles comprise only one bay ending in a "temporary" west wall that has stood for more than a century.[3] The building is coursed rubblestone apart from the temporary west wall, which is brick.[4]


A nonconformist chapel in Middle Way was completed in 1824 but had closed by 1830.[6] It has been a Spiritualist church since 1967.[4][6] Summertown United Reformed Church began in 1838 as a Congregational mission to Summertown.[6] A chapel for it in Middle Way was completed in 1844.[6] The present Gothic Revival church on Banbury Road was built in 1894 and its transepts and meeting room were added in 1910.[6] The former chapel in Middle Way was demolished in 1971.[6] Both Saint Michael's and the URC church belong to the Summertown-Wolvercote Church Partnership[2] which is a local ecumenical partnership. Woodstock Road Baptist Church,[7] on the corner of Beechcroft Road, was opened in 1897 and rebuilt in 1955.[6] It is a member of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches.

Roman Catholic[edit]

The Roman Catholic Parish church of Saints Gregory and Augustine on Woodstock Road,[8] was founded in 1911,[5][9] the same year as Saint Edmund and Frideswide (Iffley Road, now run by the Capuchin Franciscans). Previously the Oxford area had been served by the Jesuits at St Aloysius (now an Oratory of St Philip Neri), which was founded in 1875, replacing the church of St Ignatius (in St Clement's), which had been founded immediately after the relaxation of the penal laws forbidding the building of Catholic places of worship, in 1795. More Catholic parishes were established in the ensuing decades. The architect was Ernest Newton, and a much admired member of the Arts and Crafts movement. The fabric of the church is very little changed from the time of its foundation. Nikolaus Pevsner described the church thus (1974): "By Ernest Newton. Small and stuccoed. A rectangle, white, with a cupola. W. window with a gently double-curved head. Plaster tunnel-vault inside with tie beams."

Public transport[edit]

In 1898 the City of Oxford Tramways Company extended its Banbury Road horse tram route to a new terminus at Summertown. In 1913 the company replaced its horse trams with motor buses.[10] Buses running between central Oxford and Summertown via Banbury Road include the Oxford Bus Company 2, 2A, 2B, 2C and 2D, Heyfordian Travel 25 and 25A and Stagecoach 7, 7A, 7B, 17 and S5. Banbury Road also has limited-stop Park and Ride bus services linking Water Eaton with central Oxford (route 500 run by the Oxford Bus Company) and with the John Radcliffe Hospital (route 700 run by Stagecoach). As of 2011, Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach came to an agreement in which they would share the same bus timetable. This eliminated the 7, 7A and 7B buses. This also benefited the public because not only were the buses more coordinated in their schedule but the public could use the same ticket/bus pass on each of the bus companies' buses[according to whom?].

Educational facilities[edit]

The following schools and colleges are in Summertown:[11]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Times | UK News, World News and Opinion". 3 May 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b "St Michaels Church, Summertown". Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Crossley & Elrington, 1979, pages 369-412
  4. ^ a b c "Oxfordshire Churches & Chapels: Summertown: St Michael & All Angels". Archived from the original on 30 April 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  5. ^ a b Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 332
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Crossley & Elrington, 1979, pages 415-424
  7. ^ "Woodstock Road Baptist Church". Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  8. ^ "SS Gregory & Augustine RC Church". Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  9. ^ Crossley & Elrington, 1979, pages 412-415
  10. ^ Crossley & Elrington, 1979, pages 350-364
  11. ^ "Summertown - Schools". Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  12. ^ Rail Freight Group - Directors
  13. ^ "Times report". 3 May 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  14. ^ Kinchin, Perilla (2006). Seven Roads in Summertown: Voices from an Oxford Suburb. White Cockade Publishing. ISBN 187348713-4.


External links[edit]