Headington history: Listed Buildings

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Barton Manor, 7 Barton Village Road

Barton Manor

Barton Manor is this tall, seventeenth-century building in Barton Village Road. It is built of ashlar, and has moulded eaves and cornice and three original attic dormers with gables. The west side was refronted in the late eighteenth century. Inside is a late-seventeenth-century staircase.

The image of Barton Manor below is part of a stained-glass window in St Andrew’s Church dedicated to Vashti de Montfort Wellborne, who lived there from 1876 to 1930.

Barton Manor window

The picture below shows the cottages and Barton Manor in about 1940.

Barton Manor cottages

The picture below shows Barton Manor in the 1950s, when the only windows facing the road were the three dormer ones in the roof. The cottage on the left is still thatched, and the Princes Castle is still open on the right.

Barton Manor in the 1950s

The first known occupant may have been John Boyce (1673–1755), who was Mayor of Oxford in 1722/3, 1727/8, and 1739/40. Although Thomas Hearne said he was born in Headington Quarry, the distinction between Barton and Quarry would not have been so obvious when they were in the same parish and there was no London Road to divide them; indeed Barton was included with Quarry rather than Old Headington in the earliest censuses.

In any event, it was Sir John Boyce’s widow, Sarah, who advertised the house for sale in 1759 after her husband’s death:

To be LETT or SOLD,
At Barton, two Miles from Oxford;
A Small HOUSE, remarkable for its healthy and pleasant Situation, with a large Garden planted with the best Wall-Fruit, a Stable, Coach-House, and all Conveniences fit for a Gentleman’s Family
Enquire of Lady Boyce in Oxford, or John Oliver at Heddington Quarry

The Headington Rate Book of 1850 shows that Barton Manor was then owned by a Mr Herbert and let out to William Reynolds, the wood-engraver who collaborated with Orlando Jewitt. Its rateable value was then £7–10s, and its gross estimated rental £10. Reynolds is listed in the 1851 census as living at Barton Manor with his wife Martha Henrietta. She was the daughter of local landowner William Mott and had inherited a number of cottages in Barton Village Road. With them lived their eldest son, five-year-old son George, and one servant. George’s two younger siblings had already died at Barton Manor (William John aged two in 1849 and Martha Anne aged 7 months in 1850); and young George himself was to die there in 1855 when he was nine, allegedly after drinking water from the Bayswater Brook. Shortly after the census, the family moved to London.

By the time of the 1871 census, the house was occupied by James Hedges, a master butcher, and his wife Emma: they were probably also the owners. Emma died in 1873, and in 1876 James Hedges married his second wife, Annie Pether Hedges, who had a 12-year-old daughter from her first marriage, Vashti de Montfort Wellborne. They had no children. The 1911 census shows James Hedges (74), now retired, living with Annie (62) and Vashti (42) in Barton Manor.

James Hedges died in 1925, Vashti in 1930, and Mrs Annie Pether Hedges in December 1933. She left Barton Manor (which was numbered 9 Barton Village Road until renumbering in the 1950s) to her nephew, Mr Pether of Stow Farm. He left it to Miss Iris Munro, and when she died in about 1946, she left it to her nephew, Graham H. Pollard. He lived there for about thirty years, then sold it to Hall’s Brewery.

Listed Building references: Manor: 1485/53; Garden wall: 1485/53A

© Stephanie Jenkins

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