ST GILES’, OXFORD

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No. 43: Friends Meeting House


43 St Giles

 

This house is dated “W P 1660” on the front, but has been subsequently altered. The doorway on the right actually belongs to No. 42 next door, and the whole of the first floor has been converted to a Quaker Friends’ Meeting House. It is a Grade II listed building (ref. 1485/514)

 

 

At the time of the 1772 survey of Oxford, No. 43 was two separate houses. To the south lived Mr Thetcher, with a frontage of 7 yards 1 foot 4 inches; and to the north was Mr Moore, with a frontage of 4 yards 0 feet 2 inches.

The 1841 census shows Mrs Margaret Keen, a widow aged around 80, living at No. 43.

At the time of the 1851 census this house was occupied by the Revd William Hunter, Chaplain of Corpus Christi College, and his wife and three servants.

George Fox Bridges, who had lived over his grocer’s shop at 56 St Giles’ from 1830 to at least 1852, had retired to this house by 1861. His artist brother Thomas Bridges had painted the back garden of No. 43 as early as 1843, which suggests that the Bridges family had a connection to the house before George’s retirement.

Back garden of 43 St Giles'
Aquarelle nr. 14, “The Garden” 43 St. Giles Oxford”,
signed T. Bridges 1843. Size: 25 x 19 cm

In 1861 George Fox Bridges, aged 54 and described as a retired grocer, lived here with his unmarried sister Mary Elizabeth Bridges and one servant. He died near the end of 1862, and his sister continued to live alone in the house with one servant until her own death at the age of 75 in 1884.

Occupants of 43 St Giles’ Street listed in censuses and directories
1841–6 Mrs Margaret Keen
1851–2 Rev. William Hunter
1861–84 George Fox Bridges (1861)
Miss Mary Elizabeth Bridges (1866–84)
1887 Mrs Brown
1889–95 Mrs Melville-Lee
1896 Mrs Edwyn Vaughan
1900–39 Frank Grégoire Proudfoot
Medical Officer & Public Vaccinator for Oxford Union
1941–5 St Giles’ Services Club & Canteen
1947–present Society of Friends Meeting House

 

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Last updated: 29 December, 2011