Headington History: Streets

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Northway Estate, Headington

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Headington’s Northway estate, which was built by Oxford City Council from 1951.

It is wedged between the John Radcliffe Hospital site and the northern bypass, lying to the north-west of Old Headington.


Map of the Northway area in 1900, side-by-side with a recent aerial view
(Close pop-up box in front, and drag map to what you want to see: both will move)

The shops of Northway

Shops left

The row of shops at 43–61 Westlands Drive is owned by Oxford City Council and was occupied as follows in 2014:

  • Fishing Tackle Direct (43 Westlands Drive)
  • Thames Valley Police Office for Northway Neighbourhood (45 Westlands Drive)
  • Wine Palace off-licence (47 Westlands Drive)
  • Rosie’s Iranian Food Shop (49 & 51 Westlands Drive)
  • Oxford Doors and Security (53 Westlands Drive)
  • Fat Boyz Pizza, only open evenings; with pizza delivery service (55 Westlands Drive)
  • Bal's Hairdressing (57 Westlands Drive)
  • Wingloon House Takeaway, only open evenings, closed Mondays (59 Westlands Drive)
  • Martin’s Newsagent/Westlands Drive Post Office (61 Westlands Drive)

Shops right

Plowman Tower

Plowman Tower

Plowman Tower has flats on 15 levels and was built in 1965. It was the first of Oxford’s tower blocks, and is named after Harry Plowman, CBE, MA, Town Clerk of Oxford 1940–1965.

Oxford Boxing Academy, Saxon Way

Boxing Academy

Oxford City Council sold the former Saxon Youth Centre to the club, which moved here early in 2012

Loss of Northway’s pub


The Cavalier at 148 Copse Lane was built in 1957 to serve the Northway estate and demolished in April 2012. A planning application by property developers I & O Ltd for “58 ensuite student rooms with shared facilities and warden’s room on three floors” was approved in 2011 (11/01681/FUL): this does not include the shop that was part of the earlier approved application (10/03215/FUL).

Northway’s Church

Northway Church

Northway is in the parish of St Andrew’s Church. This small evangelical church in Sutton Road grew out of some activities for children in the 1950s, and is hence almost as old as the Northway estate.  The current building dates from April 1961.

Entrance to John Radcliffe Hospital

Bus route Saxon Way

The new bus entrance to the John Radcliffe from Saxon Way, just before it opened on 15 September 2006.

Viking House

Viking House opened in Saxon Way in 2007 after being taken over by the Barnardo’s Charity, and cares for children with disabilities.

Northway Regeneration Project

Two planning applications were submitted at the end of 2012 for the £18m regeneration project in Northway and Cowley, headed by Kevin McCloud and to be built by Haboakus (McCloud’s development company Hab in partnership with the housing association GreenSquare):

  • 12/03280/FUL Demolition of existing buildings. Erection of 47 residential units
    (9 x 1-bed, 14 x 2-bed, 15 x 3-bed, 4 x 4-bed, 5 x live/work units)
    plus community centre in 5 blocks on 2, 3 and 4 levels.
    Provision of 78 car parking spaces, 102 cycle parking spaces and landscaping
  • 12/03281/FUL Demolition of existing building.
    Erection of 21 flats (14 x 1-bed, 7 x 2-bed) on 3 floors,
    together with 21 car parking spaces, 56 cycle spaces and landscaping.

Oxford City Council is providing land in Northway for developers Haboakus, who in return plan to rebuild Northway community centre, and provide 41 affordable homes in Dora Carr Close and 28 flats in Westlands Drive. The Emmaus Charity furniture store will move to Cowley.

Press reports (newest at top)

Northway Community Centre


Above: Emmaus Oxford furniture store, which will move to Cowley

Barton West development

Work started in November 2015 on the new road linking Northway to Barton Park.

Road to Barton Park

Full details here:

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© Stephanie Jenkins

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