Headington history: Listed Buildings/Structures

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Barton Manor, 7 Barton Village Road

Barton ManorBarton Manor, before two adjoining houses replaced the outhouse on the left in 2019/2020.
Only the rear of the Manor, with no windows at ground-floor level, can be seen from the road

List entry for Barton Manor house: 1047369
List entry for Barton Manor garden wall: 1047370

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. There is a late-seventeenth-century staircase inside.

It is private property and the front cannot be seen, but there is this view of the more impressive side of the Manor in William Wilkinson, English Country Houses (1875). It can also be seen in the stained-glass window in St Andrew’s Church (shown below) that is dedicated to Vashti de Montfort Wellborne, an actress who lived there from 1876 to 1930:

Barton Manor window

Barton Manor was numbered 9 Barton Village Road until it was renumbered as 7 in the 1950s.

The two pictures below shows thatched cottages with Barton Manor to the right (1) in about 1940 and (2) in the 1950s, and in both cases there are no windows at all in the side facing Barton Village Road, except for the dormer windows in the roof. To the right of Barton Manor is the Princes Castle pub, which closed in the 1980s and is now a private house.

Barton Manor cottagesThe Gothic arch on the left of the above image is medieval

Barton Manor in the 1950s

An early occupant of Barton Manor was probably 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 both at the east side of St Andrew's parish and there was no London Road to divide them; indeed Barton was included with Quarry rather than Old Headington in the first nineteenth-century censuses. Certainly it was Sir John Boyce’s widow, Sarah, who in 1759 advertised Barton Manor for sale after her husband’s death:

JOJ 1759

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 at the age of two in 1849, and Martha Anne at the age of seven months in 1850); and young George himself was to die there in April 1855 when he was nine, allegedly after drinking water from the Bayswater Brook.

In 1856 the Reynolds family moved to London, where they had four more children.

By the time of the 1871 census, Barton Manor was occupied by the master butcher James Hedges 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 called Vashti de Montfort Wellborne. There were no children from this second marriage, and the 1911 census shows James Hedges (74), now retired, living with Annie (62) and his stepdaughter Vashti (42) in Barton Manor. James Hedges died in 1925, Vashti in 1930, and Mrs Annie Pether Hedges in December 1933. The Hedges family do not appear to have lived in Barton Manor in the later years, and in 1929 the occupant was listed as Mlle B. de Bergerac.

Mrs Hedges left Barton Manor 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.

Barton Manor plaque


The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) bought Barton Manor, and they carried out renovation works completed in 1992.

The plaque (right) on the side of the building commemorates this restoration.

The CPRE sold the house to private owners in 1994.


Two new houses in the garden of Barton Manor

Barton Manor in 2020

In November 2017 planning permission (17/01834/FUL) was granted to erect two two-bedroomed houses on land adjacent to Barton Manor. This land was originally owned by Halls Brewery, who sold the overgrown area to the CPRE for a nominal price.

The details submitted in compliance with conditions for a separate planning application (17/01835/CND) relating to the stone boundary wall include a Historic building recording and archaeological evaluation of Barton Manor: see “Historic building recording and archaeological evaluation” (PDF) in this list.

Between March and July 2020 intermittent recording work by John Moore Heritage Service showed that the lower part of the frontage stone wall may have been medieval in origin, with cottages built into it in the seventeenth century,The retained northern garden wall of the plot is also likely to be medieval. Also a foundation trench to the rear of the new houses showed the continuation of a previously identified substantial boundary ditch of medieval date. The archaeologist David Radford regarded this as one of the top Oxford finds of 2020.

Archaeological survey of the garden (PDF)

© Stephanie Jenkins

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