Headington history: Streets

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Piper Street (formerly Cross Street)

This street was originally known as Cross Street, as it ‘crosses’ the southern square of New Headington village. Piper was a 15th-century local quarryman, and the street’s name was changed in 1959 to prevent confusion with Cross Street in St Clements.

Piper Street, which was laid out in the early 1850s with the rest of New Headington village, has has always been a quiet road with no shops or other public buildings, and even today it has only 16 houses. Before the twentieth century, it had only six, all of which have now been demolished: the 1876 OS map (below) shows only All Saints' mission chapel on the north side, and on the south a semi-detached pair of houses (replaced by the present Nos. 3 and 4) and a row of four small cottages set back from the road(replaced by Nos. 5–8).

Piper Street in 1876

At the time of the 1891 census, three of these four cottages (which shared a pump) were home laundries, while the fourth was occupied by a widow, Mrs Bateman, and her crippled son (an ‘artist painter’).

The 1899 map of New Headington showed no further development in Piper Street.

The terrace of seven houses (Nos. 9–15) on the south side of the street is helpfully inscribed with the date they were built (1906) and the name ‘All Saints Cottages’, which reflects the fact that they face the side of the original All Saints Chapel in Perrin Street. Nos. 1 and 2 Piper Street were probably built at about the same time.

The garden of the former All Saints mission chapel and the coal yard of No. 8 Gardiner Street made up the entire north side of the street until a bungalow was built in the back gardens of Nos. 6 and 8 Gardiner Street in the 1950s.

© Stephanie Jenkins

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