ST GILES’, OXFORD

Back
Forwards

Nos. 60–61: St Cross College


Pusey House

St Cross College occupies the former Pusey House at 60 and 61 St Giles’ Street. The present building, which dates from 1918, is Grade II listed (ref. 1485/521)

The original pair of eighteenth-century semi-detached houses that stood on this site had large gardens and a wide street frontage. They can be seen in 1907 in the centre of this picture on the English Heritage website.

The old houses were painted by J. A. Shuffrey (OXCMS: 2002.74,21, pictured on p. 77 of Lauren Gilmour and Margaret Shuffrey, J. A. Shuffrey 1859–1939: An Oxford Artist’s Life Remembered).

In 1884 the “Pusey Memorial House” was founded at the house numbered 61 in memory of Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800–1882), one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement. The main purpose of this memorial house was to make Dr Pusey’s large theological library the centre of a “house of sacred learning”.

At that time No. 60 next door to the north was a boarding school for young ladies, which had been founded in about 1850. That school closed In 1891 and Pusey House then expanded to include No. 60. It then obtained three smaller houses to the north (Nos. 57–59) and demolished them to make way for their chapel and the first part of the library.

In 1918 Pusey House largely demolished its original old premises at Nos. 60 and 61 to make way for the second phase of their library, including the frontage to St Giles shown above. (Two eighteenth-century rooms survive internally: the Pamphlet Room and the Van Heyningen Room.) The buildings were designed in the late Gothic Style by Temple Moore, to the modified designs of his father-in-law Temple Moore.

The postcard below shows Pusey House in about 1925.

Pusey House in the 1920s

In 1981 St Cross College (founded in 1965 and then based in temporary accommodation to the south of St Cross Church in Manor Road) took up a 999-year lease for the southern part of the Pusey House site, and it became a full college of the university in c.1990. Pusey House Chapel and Library to the north continues in its original tradition.

Occupants listed in censuses and directories
(grey background = earlier building)
Year 60 St Giles 61 St Giles
1841–6 George Davenport Mrs Mary Foucart
1851–2 Ladies
Boarding School/Seminary
Misses Howe
&
Miss Beaufoy
1861–7 Dr Gilbert W. Child
1869–76 Joseph Standen
Tailor
1880–4 Misses Hyde
1884–90 Pusey Memorial House
1893–1918 Pusey (Memorial) House and Library
1918–1981 Pusey House
1981–present

South part: Pusey House Chapel and Library

North part: St Cross College

No. 60: In 1841 this was occupied by the 65-year-old banker George Davenport and his four children aged 15 to 25. By 1851 it had become a boarding school for young ladies, run by Miss Anne Howe (aged 30), her sister Louisa (aged 26), and Miss Emma Beaufoy (aged 24). Also in residence on census night was a teacher of French, two servants, and 16 girl boarders aged from 7 to 13. By 1881 Miss Louisa Howe had gone, and the school had expanded to 29 pupils, aged from 10 to 17.

No. 61: In 1841 this was occupied by the widowed fundholder Mrs Mary Foucart, and she was still here at the time of the 1851 census, aged 86, cared for by a butler and a house servant.

 

Oxford History home

Last updated: 4 March, 2012