Headington history: Streets

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Lime Walk: Summerville, 91 Lime Walk

Summerville, 91 Lime Walk

Summerville in 1898

Summerville (now 91 Lime Walk, but numbered 53 until 1952) was one of the original houses in the south end of the street, which was laid out in the 1880s.

As the 1898 Ordnance Survey map of Headington (right) shows, it once stood in a market garden with one long glasshouse to the north and three adjacent ones to the south. At that time its next-door neighbours were the present 83/85 to the north and 109 to the south.

Rather surprisingly, while Woodbine Cottages next door and two of the houses opposite had pumps (marked P), this large market garden has no obvious water supply.

Summerville in c.1900




The above postcard shows Summerville in c.1900.

The gap to the left is now occupied by 87 and 89 Lime Walk, but was then the yard of Daniel Goodgame, who lived at what is now No. 85. The writing on his outhouse reads “D. Goodgame carman

Valters’ 1887 directory shows the florist George Coombes living at Summerville House in Highfield. He was still there at the time of the 1891 census, aged 32, with his wife Ellen and children Stanley (8), Lionel (4), and Marjorie (2). Born in Broughton in Gloucestershire, he was self-employed and had no other staff in his flower nursery.

By 1894 John Robert Mattock (1863–1937), son of the famous rose-grower John Mattock of Windmill Road, was running his own business as a a florist at Summerville House. By 1897 the owner of Summerville, was the Revd James William Smart Simpson of Netherleigh, Malvern On 15 March that year Simpson signed a "heads of agreement” with his tenant Mattock to let Summerville to him together with its carriage house and stable, plus two lean-tos on a three-year lease at a yearly rental of £22. The agreement stated that the landlord agreed to paint and keep in repair the outside and general fabric of the buildings, and the tenant to keep the interior of the buildings painted and in good condition, and to replace any broken glass in the lean-tos. The tenant also had to pay all rates, taxes, and assessments on the house, and was required to allow the landlord or his agent (with our without workmen) to inspect the premises at least once each year. The tenant was allowed, with the previous consent of the landlord, to sublet the carriage house and stable.

On 2 June 1892 he had married the Mistress of Headington National School girls’ section, Elizabeth Drake, and they their first two children were born in this house: Gladys Helen and John William, who were baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 4 July 1897 and 30 November 1898 respectively.

The 1901 census shows John R. Mattock (39) and his wife still living in Summerville House with their two young children. But soon after this John came back to work for his father, building a new house for himself and his wife at 90 Windmill Road.

Soon after this Summerville became a private house, and the former nursery land around it was developed: Nos. 87/89 Lime Walk were built to the north, and Nos. 95 and 97 to the south.

At the time of the 1911 census Summerville was occupied by Robert Rogers (41), who worked elsewhere as a domestic gardener; his wife Sarah (48); his stepson Wilfred Hake (16), who was working as a draper’s porter; and his children Christine (9), Robert (7), and Constance (5).

By 1913 Summerville was occupied by Joseph Draper, who retired there after running the post office and baker’s shop at the Lime Walk crossroads. Mrs Draper is listed as the occupant from 1919, and she remained in the house until 1927.

From 1928 Summerville was occupied by William Tomlins and his wife. They were still there in 1935, when their unmarried daughter Miss D. Tomlins ACRM is listed as a teacher of music. William Tomlins died at the age of 76 in 1945, but the house continued to be occupied by his wife and daughter, who were still listed there in 1968.

No one is listed at the house in 1970, and in 1972 it was occupied by William F. Busby.

On 8 August 1983 planning permission was granted for 95 and 97 Lime Walk (which had been built in Summerville’s garden to the south) to be demolished to provide an entrance road to Cecil Sharp Place, which was to be built on the old allotments that lay behind Summerville.

In 2007 MKD Property Developments submitted planning application 07/02340/FUL to demolish Summerville at 91 Lime Walk and replace it with 4 x 2 bed flats (fronting Cecil Sharpe Place) and a terrace of 3 x 3 bed dwellings (fronting Lime Walk), but it was turned down at the North-East Area Committee meeting in May 2008. Another application was submitted in October 2016 but withdrawn. This was for “Demolition of existing dwelling. Erection of three-storey building to provide 9 flats (3 x 3-bed, 4 x 2-bed & 2 x 1-bed). Provision of new access off Lime Walk, private and shared amenity space and bin and cycle store”: 16/02677/FUL

© Stephanie Jenkins

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