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Headington history

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Timeline


Upper
Jurassic
period

 

Headington was still under the sea
Fragments of coral and the fossils of sea urchins remain at Magdalen Quarry and Rock Edge, which was probably the boundary between a coral reef and the surrounding shallow sea

c.1000 BC

Stone Age man was living in Headington
(Artefacts have been found in Quarry and the Barton Lane area)

c.600 BC

Iron Age man was living in Headington
(artefacts have been found in former Manor Ground area)

AD 300

Romans were living in Headington
(villa found at Headington Wick, and pottery kiln on site of present Churchill Hospital)

500

Anglo-Saxons were living in Headington
(burial ground discovered on site of present Stephen Road)

912

Oxford was carved out of the royal domain of Headington by this date

1004

King Ethelred granted the tithes of the “royal vill” of Headington (“Headan dune”) to St Frideswide Priory in Oxford on St Andrewstide (7 December 1004)

1009

King Ethelred had his palace in Headington by this date

1086

Domesday Book recorded details about Headington that show the King had regained the ownership of it from St Frideswide’s Priory

1122

First mention of St Andrew’s Church, Headington (in a charter of Henry I)

1135

Death of Henry I, the last king to reside in Headington

1142

Headington Manor passed out of royal hands

1200

The windmill was already in existence on Windmill Road

1246

The hamlet of Barton was well established, as it was already known as Old Barton

1396

Quarrying began in earnest: New College bell-tower was built of Headington stone

1474

William Orchard leased a quarry in Headington to build at Magdalen College

1482

The Brome/Whorwood dynasty became Lords of the Manor of Headington

1498

Mention of a wayside cross in Headington, probably at High Cross Bush (the Headington carfax)

1551

The Oxford printer Herman Evans had a house in Headington

1574

The road from Headington to Oxford (now Old Road) was improved to transport stone down via the Milham Ford to build Cardinal College (Christ Church)

1591

The Churchwardens of Headington were charged with having cut down “custom-boughs at Whitsuntide for the Church”

1600

The earliest part of the Rookery (now Ruskin Hall) was built

1605

Corpus Christi College produced what is probably the earliest surviving map of the whole Headington area, showing all the lands owned by the college. St Andrew’s Road is named as “Highe Streete” and Cuckoo Lane as “Oxforde Waye”.

1615

A hamlet began to develop at Quarry

1646

Civil War: The Parliamentarian Sir Thomas Fairfax moved his headquarters from Marston to Headington

1676

Charles Beauclair, first son of Charles II and Nell Gwynn, was ceated Baron Headington

1681

The earliest surviving Headington parish register began its records

1700

The terraced walkway up Headington Hill was created by public subscription of the University

Highfield Farmhouse was built at about this time

1718

A fire in Old Headington (which started in St Andrew’s Lane and spread across to Old High Street) destroyed 24 dwellings

Thomas Hearne recorded that “a great part of the Church Yard ... is turned to a prophane Use, and separated from the other Part ... by a wall, as if it did not at all belong to it.”

c.1770

Headington Manor House was built

c.1780

William Jackson, founder of Jackson’s Oxford Journal, built Headington House

1782

Headington now well known for bull-baiting, and a near riot there when undergraduates, prevented by villagers from tying a cat to a bull's tail, embarked on an orgy of destruction, halted by the arrival of the proctors

c.1790

The New London Road was cut through fields between Headington Hill and Wheatley

1793/4

Tom Paine’s effigy was burnt at Headington on 4 January 1793/4

c.1800

Bury Knowle House was built

1801

Population of Headington: 669

1804

Headington Enclosure Act

1805

Free School opened in Headington Quarry

1813

The Lords of the Manor of Headington sold 315 outlying acres of Headington manorial land, comprising most of Headington Quarry and land to the south-west of Old Road and the north-west of Dunstan Road

1824

First phase of Headington Hill Hall was completed for James Morrell

1826

Warneford Asylum (Headington’s first hospital) was built

1830

Headington’s first nonconformist chapel (Methodist) opened in Trinity Road, Quarry

1834

The Headington Union of 22 parishes was set up under Poor Law Amendment Act

1834

Headington’s second nonconformist chapel (Baptist) opened in the Croft

1836

The 345 remaining acres of the lands of Headington Manor were put up for auction on 3 August 1836; all the land was finally sold in 1846

1838

A new Union Workhouse was built on London Road near Gladstone Road

1840

Old Headington Infant School opened in North Place

1841

Population of Headington at census: 1,668

1848

Headington National School opened on London Road

1849

Headington Quarry became a separate parish on opening of Holy Trinity Church

1852

New Headington village was laid out (the present New High Street, Bateman Street, and the grid of small roads to the south)

1860

A new, larger Methodist Chapel opened in Headington Quarry

1864

Headington Quarry National School opened

1871

All Saints Mission Chapel opens in Church (now Perrin) Street

1871

Wingfield Convalescent Home opened on present site of Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre)

1873

New Headington Infant School opened in Church (now Perrin) Street

John Mattock started his rose-growing business in William (now Wilberforce) Street

1875

Land for on top of Headington Hill was purchased for a reservoir to serve Oxford (but not Headington)

1877

The Revd John Taylor of the Rookery started to sell off the lands of Highfield Farm. The development of the Highfield estate began with a villa on London Road (first known as Ellerslie, later as Dorset House)

1878

The London Road was disturnpiked

1879

The development of Pullen’s Lane started with The Pullens

c.1880

The windmill on Windmill Road was pulled down

The toll-gates were removed from the central Headington carfax

The British Workman opened in Old High Street

1884

The southern part of Lime Walk was built

1885

Headington cemetery opened

1887

Formation of Headington Silver Band (now the City of Oxford Silver Band)

1889

Following the Local Government Act of 1888, the Municipal Borough of Oxford was extended eastwards to match the parliamentary borough. As a result, the part of Headington to the west of the Boundary Brook (which runs beside the White Horse, now underground) became part of Oxford

1891

Population of Headington at census: 3,005
(Old Headington 879, Headington Quarry 1,080, New Headington 1,046)

1892

The Co-op opened in a new building (now Buckell & Ballard) built on site of former toll-house on corner of London and Windmill Road

Stones were set up on Boundary Brook by Cuckoo Lane and Headington Road to mark the new boundary of Headington. The area to the west of this boundary (including the Warneford Hospital) was no longer included under Headington in Kelly’s Directory

1893

Headington Football Club (later Headington United and eventually Oxford United) was founded

West's Nursery opened on Windmill Road

1894

Headington Rural District Council, covering all of Headington to the east of the Boundary Brook, was created

Headington Road and Pullen’s Lane were taken into St Clement’s parish and became part of the City of Oxford

1899

Cecil Sharp saw William Kimber morris-dancing at Sandfield Cottage on London Road, and this led to the revival of English folk music

1902

Reservoir opened on Shotover, and gradually Headington began to get piped water for the first time

1908

Headington’s first council school opened on Margaret Road

1909

Joe Pullen’s Tree, Headington’s famous landmark, was burnt down

In September the Conservative van touring the county with propaganda against the People's Budget was overturned in Headington Quarry

1910

All Saints Church in Lime Walk opened, and New Headington village and the houses built on the former Highfield Farm became a separate parish from St Andrew’s, known as Highfield

1911

Population of Headington at census: 4,488

1913

The 1½-mile residence limit for members of Congregation was abolished, leading to dons’ families moving to Old Headington, and to new houses built at the western end of Old Road in the 1920s

1914

The brickfields in Quarry ceased operation

1916

Many Headington men died at the Somme. The eventual total of Headington dead in World War I was 123

1917

The last Lord of the Manor of Headington (Colonel James Hoole) died, and the Trustees of the Radcliffe Infirmary bought the Manor House and its lands

1919

C. S. Lewis came to lodge in Headington and stayed for the rest of his life

1920

Headington was connected to the city sewage system

1921

Population of Headington at census: 5,328

1923

New Cinema (later the Moulin Rouge) was officially opened at 5.40pm on Monday 8 October 1923

1925

101 council houses (the first in Oxford) were built on the north-east side of the London Road in Headington

1926

First city bus service to Headington, terminating at Green Road

Shirley Hall in Lime Walk (provided by Mr J. Shirley of the London Road) opened as a central Headington meeting place. (The building is now the Church of St  Ebbe’s in Headington)

1927

Headington Urban District Council was formed at the request of the parish council. It only lasted one year, but in that time purchased land on the Barton estate for 60 homes, acquired land for a public open space in Windmill Road (now St Leonard’s Road car park), passed more than 200 plans to erect homes, and granted nearly 40 private enterprise subsidies

1929

The whole of Headington to the east of Gipsy Lane (1,529 acres) was incorporated into the City of Oxford. Headington Urban District Council was dissolved in August 1929, and the City Council took over the new suburb. Headington was quickly brought up to city standards, getting electricity and telephone for the first time, and better pavements

C.S. Lewis bought The Kilns in Risinghurst with his brother and Mrs Moore

1930

Headington School moved into its present site on Headington Road

314 council houses were built on the new Gipsy Lane estate

Headington Telephone Exchange was now open at the top of Lime Walk

The city council purchased Bury Knowle House and park

1931

The Headington population was now 10,131, nearly double what it was ten years earlier, mostly because of the development of Morris Motors

Headington Workhouse became a hospital called The Laurels

1932

Bury Knowle Park was opened to the public

Oxford Preservation Trust bought 50 acres of South Park (handing it over to the city in 1959 to be preserved as an open space)

Abolition of the Headington registration district covering the 22 parishes of the old Headington Union. Headington Births, Marriages, and Deaths henceforth registered as Oxford

Lime Walk Methodist Church opened, and the old chapel in New High Street became the church hall

1932

Wingfield-Morris Orthopaedic Hospital opened in grounds of the Wingfield Convalescent Home (now Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre)

1934

Bury Knowle Library was the first branch library to be opened in Oxford

Quarry Village Hall opened in Margaret Road

1935

The Northern Bypass from the present Headington to Banbury Road roundabouts (unemployment relief work) was completed

1936

Oxford Youth Hostel opened in Jack Straw’s Lane

Headington’s first Roman Catholic Church (Corpus Christi) opened in Margaret Road

c.1938

Slade Territorial Army Barracks opened

Headington Sorting Office opened in Lime Walk in telephone exchange building

1939

The Slade Hospital opened on 3 February to replace the Cold Arbour Isolation Hospital

Oxford Crematorium opened in Bayswater Road

1940

The Churchill Hospital was built to provide wartime medical services

1946–8

Barton council estate was built. In 1948 the hut used by foreman of works was purchased by the Society of King Charles the Martyr as a place of worship and presented to St Andrew’s Church

1951

Building of 570 council houses at Northway started, including Plowman Tower, Oxford’s first multi-storey block

1953

Building of 510 council houses started at Wood Farm

J. R. R. Tolkien moved to 76 Sandfield Road

Oxford City Council bought Headington Hill Hall and Park from the Morrell family

1954

Lord Nuffield laid the foundation stone of Oxford College of Technology at Gipsy Lane (now Oxford Brookes University)

c.1955

Headington Telephone Exchange moved from Lime Walk to its present site on the London Road

1956

Oxford City Council adopted the first green belt outside London. This offered some protection to Headington, although building continued in the green-belt at Barton

The Conventional District of Bayswater was formed by the Church of England to serve both the Barton and Sandhills estates

1958

260 council houses were built at Town Furze

A housing estate (including William Kimber Crescent) was built on the site of The Laurels (the former workhouse)

Consecration of St Mary’s Church in Bayswater Road

Headley Way was extended from Woodlands Road to the London Road

1959

 

80 council houses were built at Headington Quarry

Robert Maxwell started to rent Headington Hill Hall

Old houses on the Green Road in Headington Quarry were demolished to make way for the new eastern bypass linking Headington and Rose Hill

1965

A planning application for Forester’s Tower at Wood Farm was approved

1960

A subway was installed in Headington shopping centre

1967

All Saints Church House was opened by Princess Margaret on 24 March

1968

Building started on Phase 1 (maternity department) of the John Radcliffe Hospital

1970

Oxford College of Technology was designated Oxford Polytechnic

1971

Old Headington was designated a Conservation Area

On 12 November1971 the Marston Ferry Road was extended, replacing the old ferry and providing a new route to Headington via Headley Way

1975

150 council houses were built on site of the Laurels (former workhouse) in Gladstone Road

1977

The number of houses built at Barton reached 1600

1982

St Luke’s Hospital moved to Latimer Road

1983

St Mary’s Church in Bayswater was granted full parish status

Council housing (Mattock Close) was built on the land of Mattock’s Nurseries off Windmill Road

1985

Council housing was built on the land of Laurel Farm in Old Headington

1986

The shark was erected on roof of 2 New High Street

1991

Robert Maxwell died, and Headington Hill Hall was repossessed

Headington Cinema (latterly known as Not the Moulin Rouge) closed

1992

Oxford Polytechnic became Oxford Brookes University, named after John Henry Brookes

Headington Quarry ecclesiastical parish was reduced in size. Its boundary to the south-west was now the Boundary Brook, but with Little Oxford and the Warneford Meadow included to the west

c.1993

“Little Oxford” estate (Demesne Furze, Mileway Gardens, etc.) was built to the south of Old Road, at the west side of the Old Road Campus

1990s

Development of Old Road Campus began in earnest

2001

Oxford United played its last game on the Manor Ground

2002

Oxford City Council’s North-East Area Committee (comprising Headington and Marston) was formed

A Street Party for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee was held in Old Headington

2003

The return to a two-tier system of education was completed.
Headington Middle School, Bayswater Middle School, and Headington Quarry First School closed down. Windmill Primary School moved into the Headington Middle School buildings, Bayards Hill Primary School (the new name for Barton First School) into the former Bayswater School buildings, and Headington Nursery School into the Headington Quarry School buildings

First Headington Festival took place

2005

The Manor Hospital opened on the former Manor Ground

Headington postal distribution and collection office in Lime Walk closed down

2006

Headington Baptist Church opened its new building on its Old High Street site in November

The EF Language School took over the Plater College buildings in Pullen’s Lane

2007

The Radcliffe Infirmary completed its move to Headington

The Oxford Children’s Hospital and West Wing opened on the John Radcliffe site

St Ebbe’s in Headington Church opened in the former Shirley Hall (lattterly the Exclusive Brethren Church) in Lime Walk

2008

 

Slade Territorial Army Barracks closed down, and the OBLI Museum and the Oxford Boer War Memorial moved to Dalton Barracks in Abingdon. A housing development began on the site

Work started on widening and improving the Headington and London Road

The special Armed Forces Department of Pathology opened at the John Radcliffe Hospital, and Headley Way repatriation tributes to soldiers killed in Afghanistan started on 16 June

2009

 

The Oxford Cancer Centre opened on the Churchill site

20mph speed limit came into operation in Headington centre and on all minor roads in Headington and Marston (1 September)

 

2010

 

The Warneford Meadow was registered as a Town Green

The Headington subway was filled in as part of the second phase of the London Road scheme

2011

 

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust formed

North-East Area Committee abolished

EF International Academy took over Cotuit Hall

The eighteenth-century walled garden at Ruskin College was restored

2012

 

Sikh Temple opened on the London Road

Ruskin College moved up to Headington

2016

 

House building began on the new Barton Park estate

See also Brief History of Headington

© Stephanie Jenkins

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