Marston history: Listed buildings

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Cromwell’s House, 17 Mill Lane

Cromwell’s House at 17 Mill Lane is Grade II listed (List Entry No. 1047566).
See it on Streetview

Manor and Cromwell House, c.1905

Left: Cromwell House and the Manor House before 1912, when dormer windows were reinstated in the former. Compare this 1938 photograph


Below: The former Manor House: extract from an engraving after J. C. Buckler published in Gentleman’s Magazine 1816, lxxvi(2), 577. Cromwell’s House, with dormer windows and a chimney stack on the front, is to the left; the section on the right was destroyed by fire in the nineteenth century

Old Manor House

In 1617 Unton Croke married Anne Hoare and through her inherited land in Marston. In 1622 he rebuilt the mansion house that stood on the site of the present 15 and 17 Mill Lane, and may have included some features from the earlier house, including doorways and fireplaces. This wide building became known as the Mansion House, and was used as Fairfax’s headquarters during the siege of Oxford in 1645.

Although the part of the manor to the east (on the right of the above picture) suffered from fire in the mid-eighteenth century and has been rebuilt as a separate house, much of this part of Croke’s old house dates from 1622. It was given the name of Cromwell’s House because it was visited by Oliver Cromwell, and the Treaty for the Surrender of Oxford was signed here in 1646.

Blue Plaque


At the time of the 1901 census, Cromwell Cottage (as it is described) was occupied by George H. Mathews (a 51-year-old milkman) and his wife Matilda. They had their two grown-up sons John and George (both farm labourers) living with them as well as their respective wives, their 19-year-old daughter Lily, their son Willie (who was a houseboy of 14), and two of their grandchildren. The Mathews family appear to have been in the house since at least 1881.


Right: Blue plaque erected on
Cromwell’s House in June 2013


Some other occupants of Cromwell’s House

  • End of nineteenth century: Matthews family
  • 1915: Miss Orwin. Sold by auction on 2 April 1919 (see photograph in Oxford Journal Illustrated of that date)
  • 1928, 1930s: George Norman Clark, M.A.(later Sir George Clark) until his appointment as Provost of Oriel College.
  • 1935, 1943: Robert George Grieve, C.I.E.
  • 1947–1979: Eric Robertson Dodds (1893–1979), Classical scholar
  • 1980: R. G. Aylmer

© Stephanie Jenkins

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