History of the Rose & Crown Public House

The pint-sized Rose and Crown is of interest historically, as it reflects the development of central north Oxford in the last century. The land upon which it stands, between St. Giles church and the village of Summertown, was farmland owned by St. John’s College. Speculators combined to buy up land and build houses there.

At North Parade (the word ‘Avenue’ hadn’t been added yet), the land “between the turnpike roads” was parcelled up into 42 lots which were sold at auction at the Horse & Jockey PH (Woodstock Road) in May 1832.

Two of the lots – numbers 28 and 29 – were designated as the sole possible sites for the construction of a “public house or beer–hall” but these failed to find a purchaser. Nearly four years later, in 1836, one of these lots was bought privately by 25 year old*1 Daniel Stokes, a servant who was married to Harriet Quartermain.

The demands of a growing family make it clear that Daniel Stokes was unable to do more than to build a cottage on the site & make a living as a market gardener, under which profession he appears in the censuses of 1851 & 1861.

Nearly 30 years later, in 1863, he was reminded of the covenant and built the public house  that consisted of one small bar. In 1867 he named it the Rose and Crown.

Ten years later, in 1877, Daniel was probably thinking of taking retirement since he sold the house as a going concern to Halls Brewery. Will Stokes, continued as tenant of the pub, and in 1887, Daniel’s nephew, Harry, took over as licensee remaining till 1925.

The Stokes family sixty-two years of almost continuous occupancy was nearly matched by the Woodward family when Arthur took over in 1935 followed by his widow and then his son, Gordon.

In 1976, Tim and Alice Thomas took the licence to become Britain’s youngest pub tenants. In 1983, a few days after they left, Alice gave birth to Rose.
1983 [February 21st] marked the arrival of Debris and Andrew Hall.

In 2010, with Punch Taverns in fiscal turmoil, the Rose and Crown is sold to the tenants and becomes a freehouse again, after 133 years as a tenancy.


*1  Jeff Stokes 26-6-12 scroll down

Licensees to date:
The Stokes Family, 65 years
1.   1863 Daniel Stokes  –  “Beerseller”
1.   1867 Daniel Stokes  –  “Beer retailer”
1.   1868 Daniel Stokes  – “The Rose and Crown”
2.   1877 Will(iam) Stokes   (b: 1834 d:1915)
3.   1882 Harry Stokes  –  Daniel Stokes nephew
4.   1884 George West
5.   1887 Harry Stokes
6.   1916 Mrs E Stokes*2  – Harry Stokes daughter-in-law
7.    1925 Chas Wallington*2    –  married Elizabeth Stokes
8.    1928 Joseph Leighton
The Woodward Family, 41 years
9.   1935 Annie & Arthur Woodward  (Arthur dies in 1955)
10.  1956 Annie Woodward  (Annie dies in 1985)
11.  1976 Alice & Timothy Thomas
12.  1983 Debbie & Andrew Hall

*2  Jeff Stokes 26-6-12 scroll down

SUMMARY of OWNERS of the Rose and Crown PH
1863  –  Daniel Stokes
1877 –    Halls (and Allsopp’s?) Brewery
1970  –  Ind Coope Oxford, Watford and West (later Watford is dropped from their company name).
1990 –   Ind Coope Retail (I have letters dated 25th Mar and 17th Feb, 1992)
???? –    Halls Oxford and West Brewery Company Limited (regional restructuring of Allied Breweries,  Jubilee House, Second Avenue, Burton Upon Trent, Staffordshire, DE14 2WF)
1993 –   Sycamore Taverns  (I have letters dated March & June 1993)
18th April 1995 –   Inn Business  (I have a letter dated August 1999)
1999 –   Punch Pub Company fully integrates Inn Business as its tenanted division.
2010  –  Halls Oxford Limited  (Directors: Debbie and Andrew Hall) (October 21st)

Early 1980 (?)

SCREAM is founded at the Rose and Crown by Rupert Walters (Oriel), ……………. (……..) and ………………..(….). The Society for the Complete Removal of all Electronic Amusement Machines is still based at the R&C.

27th September 1992

City Barge Boat Club Oxford

… is founded at a meeting in the “Rose and Crown” public house in North Parade, Oxford on 27th September 1992. Its stated aim was “to promote the use and enjoyment of hand-powered boats on the Isis and elsewhere”. The club adopted the rose and the crown as its emblems.

Richard Norton was the main founder of the club and arranged most of the early outings, writing news of these and other interesting topics several times a year via a newsletter called “Waves and Reflections”.


In the spring of 2012 Debbie Hall [landress] received a telephone call from JEFF STOKES, living at Adelaide, Australia !

“… all we have at present is a mention of the Rose and Crown at North Parade on our (Stokes) grandfather’s side.”

Further research by Jeff Stokes

… reveals that Will or William was Daniel and Harriet’s son, born 1834, one year after they married in 1833. William married Anne Goddard in 1856 and after that I lose him until 1871 when they lived in Oxford St.Giles(Rose and Crown). I cannot directly connect William to Harry, my great grandfather. Harry’s parents were George and Matilda Stokes of Oxford St.Paul, I have the certificates. There is obviously a family connection, but what that is I do not know at present. Our grandfather was there in 1891, but not in 1901 when he was 18, which would probably be correct in those days. So my research tells me your history is correct in that William is Daniel and Harriet’s son, but my great grandfather, Harry, is not William’s son. I know Harry is my great *1 grandfather because his wife’s name was Elizabeth Bell Dalrymple, that is on our grandfather’s birth cert. One other minor point, I think Daniel was only25 when he bought the land, not 35.

mail received 26th June 2012:            Harry and Elizabeth Stokes shown in 1881 census at Rose and Crown are my great grandparents, he was shown as the innkeeper, but at this time Will Stokes is in your History as the Licensee. This is possible, innkeeper may not hold license. Connecting Will to Harry is proving difficult to be 100% sure of. Daniel and Harriet appear to have had a son named William in 1834, but Harry’s parents, George and Matilda of St. Paul, also appear to have had a son, William, in 1841. Thus Will could be Harry’s uncle OR his brother. I have Harry and Elizabeth’s wedding cert., married at St. Paul’s church in 1874, Harry’s father was George Stokes who was also a witness. Harry was also christened there on 13th.Aug. 1848. His parents, George and Matilda, lived in Observation St. in what is now called Jericho, I think. It is possible that Harry’s father, George Stokes, born 1809, don’t know where, was Daniel Stokes’s brother. He was born in 1811 at Minster in Thanet, Kent. Harriet Quartermaine, Daniel’s wife was born in 1809 at Chislehampton, Oxfordshire in the Garsington district.

It is hard to nail down because there may have been more than one couple called Daniel and Harriet Stokes and more than one George and Matilda Stokes in the period in question.

If Will is Daniel and Harriet’s son, born 1834, 1 year after they married, he married Anne Goddard in 1856 and died in Headington district in 1915.

*2  Also, one odd thing in your history, it says Harry’s wife, Mrs. C Stokes took over the license from 1916 until 1925. Harry’s wife’s name was Elizabeth, formerly Dalrymple. Is it possible Elizabeth died or left and Harry re-married? Should the C really be an E??

(edit: scroll down to para starting December 2nd, 2014)

If any of this rings any bells with anyone, please get back to me. By the way, the 1881 census is FREE, you can see Harry, Elizabeth and children all at the Rose and Crown!

mail received 22nd July 2012:            Harry Stokes’s father, George, was Daniel Stokes’s brother or a relative from Kent. I think Daniel was born at Minster, Kent in 1811 and George was born close by at Sandwich in about 1805. I should get Harry’s birth Cert, this week from Oxford Registry office and that will confirm his parents. Still have no real info on which William was your licensee. Daniel’s son William lived in Cranham St. Jericho in 1881 and he is shown as a compositor. Harry is shown at Rose and Crown in 1881, but I know he lived in Jericho in 1883.

Daniel and Harriet are shown in Kent in 1881 with grandson, another link with Kent. Stokes Family, received 29th July 2012 It looks as though Harry’s father, George, was Daniel’s brother, both born in Kent, not far apart, both had parents called George and Elizabeth. They both appear in Oxford records in early 1830’s and in Saint Giles Oxford. The thing that clouded the mix was Harry’s mother, Matilda, was his father’s 2nd wife, so the William born 1841 is his half brother. Harry’s father is also listed as a gardener/farmer and in your history, Daniel initially ran the plots as a market garden.

The big mystery is who the Will or William in your history is. I think Daniel and Harriet had a son, William, born 1834, but I am fairly sure in 1881 census he was living in Cranham St. with new wife and children from both marriages and he was listed as a compositor. (Clarendon Press just down Walton St.) His younger sister, Louisa Jane at same address with her family. I think it is possible that your William is Harry’s half brother and that Daniel and George may have run the land to-gether, but Daniel appeared in the records because he could write. I have Harry’s wedding cert. and his father made his mark on it, indicating he could not write.

I quite realize that this deviates from your history before Harry and the list of licensees does not match other dates, but the licensee may have been a silent partner.

mail received 20th August 2012:            Recently received Harry Stokes’s birth cert. and his parents wedding certificate. Harry was born at 7, Observatory Street, Saint Giles, Oxford (Jericho) and it confirms his parents were George and Matilda Stokes. His mother was George’s 2nd wife and this caused some confusion about older brothers, one of which was William Stokes, born 1841, but I can’t find him after 1861.

Harry’s parents wedding cert. is very interesting, it confirms his father was a widower and that his father, Harry’s grandfather, was indeed another George Stokes. The most interesting thing is that one of the witnesses of the marriage was Daniel Stokes, the founder of your pub and this is further confirmation that Harry’s father, George and Daniel were brothers from the Isle of Thanet in Kent, parents George and Elizabeth. So, Daniel Stokes was Harry’s uncle.

The 2 brothers seem to have come to Oxford from Kent in the early 1830’s. George Stokes and Sally Ann Hunt were married at Faversham in 1829, but had a daughter, Sophia, in 1932, christened at Saint Giles, Oxford and Daniel Stokes married Harriet Quartermaine in 1833 at Saint Giles, Oxford. Daniel and Harriet had a son, William, born 1834 at Saint Giles, Oxford. I am sure I have the link between Daniel and Harry, BUT, I cannot find how William Stokes fits in or which one had the license.

Harry’s half brother seems to be missing after 1861 census and I am sure that the William Stokes in the 1881 census living at 50, Cranham Street with his 2nd wife, older children by 1st wife and his younger sister’s family is Daniel and Harriet’s son born in 1834, he is shown as a compositor and Clarendon Press is just down Walton Street. In the same census, Daniel and Harriet, aged 70, are shown living or staying in a cottage at St. Lawrence, near Ramsgate on the Isle Of Thanet with a grandson who is the eldest of William’s younger sister already mentioned. Phew!! In 1881, William is listed as the licensee, so cannot make sense of it.

Another little tit bit I found, George West, another licensee, is in the 1881 census, born Chinnor, Oxfordshire in 1843 and listed as a Licensed Victualler at Wycombe.

Sorry it’s a bit long winded, I’m sure now my direct line leaves the Rose and Crown after Harry, although it looks as though George Stokes may have been involved on the land which Daniel or both of them bought. I wonder why they both came to Oxford around 1830. Best Wishes,

mail received September 18th, 2012:            Rose’n’Crown history,  The last marriage cert. I told you about has virtually finished my research into my paternal line in Oxford, but as Daniel Stokes was a witness on that marriage cert. in 1846, I would like to find out how the family and your pub are interconnected. I also know you would like to confirm some things, like when the pub was built. There is a researcher, Jennie .. Regards,

mail received 7th November 2012:            Rose & Crown/Stokes family. I made contact with St John’s College, looking for proof and/or a list of licensees and looking at available sources and possible avenues to follow.

The archivist at St John’s was very obliging, but sadly had nothing of any use whatsoever for us. His basic answer was ” **St. John’s has never owned North Parade; it was* *one of a few segments of North Oxford that have never been ours.”** and so was never sold by them as leasehold plots. I must say I find this a little puzzling as I have found various references that talk about St John’s College and landownership in North Oxford. I may need to question him more fully at some point, but for now will take his answer to be true. This means that the sale that (according to the existing pub history) happened in May 1833 at the Horse and Jockey did not involve St John’s. Such a sale or auction would have been advertised in the local paper and evidence of such can probably be found fairly easily in the local paper of the time.

I would also like to take as look at the St Giles enclosure map of 1832 to check the detail of the plots of land situated in North Parade and see if they are freehold or leasehold and in whose name they are held. We would then know who (in theory) Daniel bought or leased the land from. I can also see if any pre-enclosure maps exist for the area that show what was there prior to the ‘cottage’ that Daniel built.

Derek S Honey in his ‘Encyclopaedia of Oxford Pubs, Inns and Taverns’ claims that the site was originally a group of farm cottages, which were part of a market garden owned by Daniel Stokes in 1836. He says it was in 1865 that Daniel apparently ‘converted’ one of these cottages into a small pub of 2 rooms with a passageway to the cottage at the rear. Mr Honey also claims that a William Stokes became a tenant in the pub for Hall’s Brewery until 1882 when it was taken over by his wife Harriot (!) and then their son Harry. Unfortunately he fails to reference these statements and so where is his evidence I wonder. Paul Marriott’s Oxford Pubs Past & Present published in 1978 may be where he has taken the buildings information from. This does give a bibliography of 14 items some of which would be worth checking out.

With regard to the list of licencees……
From 1552 onwards anyone who wanted to sell ale had to apply for a licence at the Quarter Sessions or Petty Sessions (the equivalent of Magistrates Court today). They also had to declare that they would not keep a ‘disorderly house’. These declarations were called recognizances or bonds and the History Centre holds bundles of these where they exist from the 18th & 19th century, however searching through them for particular documents is very time consuming. Registers of recognizances and licences also do exist but only survive for sporadic periods as records fell into abeyance after 1828. Sadly they often just name individuals and possibly the parish they came from, with no indication of the pub. In Oxfordshire the Quarter Sessions are indexed up to 1830 and there are 4 volumes of Victuallers Registers (QSD/V/1-4) dated 1753-1822 so no good for our purposes, but there are Petty sessions records from 1902-1925 for Oxford City. The University also had the power to grant licences but the records I have found are too early for our purposes.

Harry Stokes was licensed by the city (reference volume: PS7/A12/1) from at least 1900. The tenancy was then transferred a Frederick John Stokes (his son?) on 7th December 1915. Frederick of 14 North Parade (boot & shoe maker and licensed victualler) dies in 1919 and the licence is taken up by his wife Mrs C Stokes. Her maiden name was Cicely Hannah Barnes and there is evidence of a marriage beween her and a Frederick Stokes in 1911. Charles H Wallington becomes the licencee on 10th July 1923 and Joseph Leighton on 12th October 1926. The owner of the alehouse in 1900 (as it is described) was indeed Hall’s Oxford Brewery Ltd so it would appear that Harry was a tenant of Halls. There is also a Register of Wine Licences which shows that Harry Stokes of the Rose & Crown, North Parade paid 5 shillings to be able to sell wine at his alehouse. This licence is issued on 18th December 1907 and was renewed each year until 1915 when Frederick J Stokes is listed as having the licence. His name is crossed out after 1917 and Cicely Stokes takes on the licence from 18th December 1918 until 1921. There are no more entries in the volume after this.

Trade directories are the other way to fill in the gaps. I could start at 1900 and work backwards checking both under publicans and the street address. It seems likely that initially the ‘pub’ was just the front room of a cottage and that Daniel had another source of employment i.e market gardener. There appears to have been a vast amount of market gardening going on in between the turnpike roads with various individuals leasing off bits of land to others. I should imagine that they were growing produce for the university.

So my next hour could be to check for evidence of the land auction in the local paper (Jackson’s Oxford Journal), look at the evidence of ownership and building on the St Giles enclosure map of 1832 and work out, using the census material where the 2 Williams were in 1881, which seems to be a crucial time for the handing over of the tenancy. This is also the time when Daniel supposedly ‘sold’ the pub to Hall’s Brewery and I have discovered that the History Centre holds a collection of Hall’s Brewery papers that cover the 19th century so that may be another avenue to follow up later along with the trade directories. Stokes/Rose-n-Crown, received 08 November 2012

I’m mainly interested in how my direct line was connected to the pub and George seems only to be involved as a market gardener until the pub starts roughly. So it appears Harry is the only one of my line connected and George was not involved in the purchase of the land in 1836. I still do not have 100% proof that George and Daniel are brothers, but I have nailed the father and mother at Minster in Thanet, George Senior baptised there in 1775.

I see where the confusion comes in about William being Harry’s father, but Harriet would be Harriet, Daniel’s wife and therefore William’s mother or maybe auntie. I am as sure as I can be that Daniel and Harriet’s son, William, is the one at Cranham St. in 1881 census with 2nd wife Elizabeth and a compositor. Born 1834, not 1836.

The mystery of licensee, Mrs. C. Stokes, is solved, she is Frederick John’s wife. He was the last of the 4 children who appear to have been born at the pub between 1878and 1882. My grandfather was born in 1883 at Clarendon Buildings, St. Thomas Oxford. The details about Frederick John are the same as mine. I think Harry was running the pub for some years, but maybe not the licensee, say 1877 ‘til 1882 or 1883. George West replaced him.

I agree about the land being advertised, one or both saw something and they came up from Kent. I’d say Daniel was the motivator as George may not have been literate, made his mark on certs. Daniel was probably first as he met and married Harriet from Chislehampton by 1833. George’s child was christened at St Giles church in 1832, as were Adam Hall (1987) and Annabel Hall (1994) the children of the present licencees.

The 1881 census was my best tool, it shows where they all are on the same date except Harry’s brother, William and their father, George, had passed in 1880.

mail received 5th December 2012:            I think a “Spring Van” would be a type vehicle used by carriers and would be sought after because it was enclosed and on springs, like the old baker’s van, but with solid wheels. Sending this to point out that in 1880 entry there is a W. Stokes at Rose and Crown and William Stokes at 50, Cranham St., as per 1881 census. Does this indicate that the William in pub history is NOT Daniel’s son, but another W. Stokes and could be Harry’s older brother William or Will??? Also, is there any way of telling whether the house numbers in North Parade Avenue were the same in 1850’s as they are now? Daniel lived at no.22 in 1851 and the pub is no.14 now. In the certs. I have, George Stokes lived at 7, Observatory Street in 1846 and 1848, in your info he clearly cont’d to live there until about 1870, then moved to Cranham Street around 1872. Harry’s address on marriage cert. in 1874 is no2, Cranham Street, his father, George is a carrier, so that all fits. Also it is clear on the marriage cert. that Harry and wife, Elizabeth, were both literate and signed their names in a good hand. George Stokes made his mark.

mail received 7th December 2012:            … Both George and Daniel had career changes in the early 1850’s. George was a gardener in 1848 and Daniel was a gardener in 1851 census. In 1853, Daniel is a victualler at the Cross Keys and George is a carrier, if “spring vans” is a form cart. In 1875 entry, William Stokes is mentioned at Leckford Road, if Leckford Road was in St Giles, this will be Daniel’s eldest son, the compositor with 1st wife Anne who died in 1876. In this entry Daniel is at the pub. The 1880 entry from Oxford Post Office, I think, is the most interesting, it shows a Stokes, W. at the pub and Stokes, William at 50, Cranham Street which is where Daniel’s eldest lived in 1881 census. If these are 2 separate people, who is Stokes, W. at the pub in 1880 entry??????? Also it shows Harry is at the pub in 1883, is it possible the Harriet in your list of licensees is a misspelt Harry, it could be either as Harriet is Daniel’s wife.

received 13th November 2012:            Ale wives, received 13th November 2012 First I’ve heard of “ ‘ale wives house”, but she did solve who the licensee, Mrs. C Stokes, was. It was Harry’s daughter-in-law.

mail received 17th November 2012:            Annie Stokes, Oxford Registry Office have confirmed the address on the birth cert. of Annie Stokes, born June quarter, 1878 is North Parade. This is the first child of Harry and Elizabeth Stokes and it indicates that they were at the pub in early 1878 at least and I know they lived at Clarendon Buildings in late 1883 where my grandfather was born. In the 1881 census, Harry is shown as an innkeeper with an address of Rose and Crown, North Parade Avenue which sounds as though it was a licensed premises in 1881. George West is shown in the 1881 census as a licensed victualler at Wycombe and he probably took over from Harry from 1884 until 1887. My point is that it sounds like a licensed premises and that Harry was there from at least 1878 even if he was NOT the licensee. I hope that makes sense!

mail received 28th November 2012:            I ‘googled’ North Parade Ave, Oxford the other night and found a Wikipedia piece on it. It mainly reflected what is in your history, but with an added piece about shops starting in North Parade around 1855 and in South Parade, Summertown in 1859. It is worth a look. I was looking for no. 22 as Daniel and family lived there in 1851, all the nos. must have changed since then. I think the 1861 and 1871 census results will tell us a lot about where Daniel and George lived and what their job was. We know Daniel lived at North Parade in 1851 and I know George and Matilda(Harry’s parents) lived in Observatory Street in 1846 and 1848. We also know that Harry’s children were born at North Parade between 1878 and 1882, but my grand father was born in 1883 at Clarendon Buildings behind the Press, so Harry was at the pub from at least 1878 until 1882, but not in 1883.

mail received 3rd December 2012: I have taken a look at the St Giles enclosure map of 1832 and gone through the trade directories.

St Giles enclosure. The enclosure maps and awards are often really useful ways of accessing landownership. The parish of St Giles had an enclosure map drawn up in 1832 and it records the portions and owners of land in the parish. Enclosure was the process which (in effect) ended the traditional rights of people using ‘common land’, this land of course was usually in the hands of the manorial lord and not free land. By enclosing the owners had exclusive rights and it allowed owners to exchange and consolidate areas of scattered property.

The St Giles map (QS/D/A volE) was drawn up in a scale of 6 chains to an inch, a land surveyors measurement. 1 chain =100 links, or 4 poles or 66 feet, and 1 mile =80 chains. Using some string and some colleagues opinions and calculations I found what we now know as North Parade Avenue on this map. There are 2 long plots in the midst of land owned by the University (mostly St John’s College) which represent the area developed into North Parade and they are clearly marked as being owned by one Richard Carr (Gent) whom I suspect to be related to Alderman Carr, a practising solicitor and 3 times mayor of Oxford. This is interesting as Daniel Stokes is described in 1836 in the parish register at the baptism of his son Frederic James as being a gent’s servant – could there be a connection here?

Dr Malcom Graham a colleague of mine, whose doctorate was on the development of the Victorian Suburbs in Oxford supports the idea that the land at that point was undeveloped. He makes the point that in the enclosure period the majority of land was owned by colleges or the church, and that private landowners were by contrast barely represented. He singles out Richard Carr as the owner of a 2 acre estate on the west side of the Banbury Road claiming he was the only one to have a substantial impact on the development of the suburb. The Victoria County History (vol5) for the city also cites the enclosure award as the beginning of the development of “some building on freehold land in North Parade”. Principal speculative developers around this times being Crews Dudley, County Solicitor, George Kimber, builder and Richard Carr. The first edition Ordnance Survey maps are 1876 and the Rose and Crown is plainly marked on that, but as yet I have not uncovered a map for anytime this and the 1832 map.

mail received December 2nd, 2014:            Cicely H. Stokes is not Harry’s wife, she is his daughter-in-law. She married Frederick J. Stokes in 1911 and took over the license in 1916, but Frederick died in 1919. There may have been health problems, so she took over, not him. Here is the good bit, the licensee after Cicely is Charles Wallington. Cicely H. Stokes married Charles H. Wallington in 1923, so the license was still in Cicely’s control. I just saw a bit about a Cicely H. Stokes marrying a Charles H. Wallington in Oxford and the name Wallington rang a bell. Sure enough, he’s on the list. Cicely H. Wallington died in Oxford in 1967, aged 88.

mail received December 6th, 2014:            Cicely H. Stokes was born Cicely Hannah Barnes in 1878, married Frederick J. Stokes in 1911, was licensee in 1916, Frederick died in 1919, she married Charles Wallington in 1923 who in turn became licensee in 1925. The odd thing is Charles Wallington was 20 years younger than her and they could have had a son 3 months after they married, Cecil H. Wallington, but he was born at Thame.

In the census results, Frederick J. Stokes is listed at the pub, but he is shown as a boot repairer, not assisting in pub.

Cicely H. Wallington died in Oxford in 1967, aged 88.

mail received December 13th, 2014:            Cicely Stokes … small technical point, Cicely Stokes was Harry Stokes’s daughter-in-law, not Daniel’s.  [Edit: I’ve amended “Licensees to date:” above.]   She married Frederick J. Stokes who was Harry and Elizabeth’s son and born at the pub in 1882. My grandfather was the only child not born at R&C in 1883. I believe Harry and Elizabeth ran the pub from 1877 even if they were not the licensees then, he also carried on his father’s carrying business, so I would say she ran the pub in the day while he drove a cart. Were there stables at the pub?

mail received 17th October 2015:    Debbie and Andrew. That guy in Adelaide again. I have found some descendants of the youngest daughter of Harry and Elizabeth Stokes. Their grandfather, Tom Cotmore married Norah Agnes Stokes in 1909. The grandson lives in Oxford and the granddaughter lives in Buckingham. They are quite aware of their connection to the Rose and Crown as Harry’s wife Elizabeth was quite involved with the upbringing of their father, Gordon Cotmore.

I will keep you informed, best wishes, Jeff Stokes, Largs Bay, SA.

(The relative I found in Adelaide was a false alarm, these are not!)

The Woodward Family, 41 years

mail received 6th June 2015:            From: David Brimson                        Subject: Woodward Family ran the pub.

Regarding the Woodward family that ran the pub. Arthur & Annie’s son was called Dennis William Woodward & not Gordon . How do I know this? My late sister Kay Woodward was Dennis Woodward’s daughter. She sadly passed away on Thursday morning (4th June 2015) aged 72. She sometimes helped out in the pub when younger as did my late mother Doris when married to Dennis before they divorced. Kay had an Airedale dog who lived in the pub too. I have photos of her in the pub.

mail received 7th June 2015:            From: David Brimson                             Subject: Woodward Family ran the pub. 

Kay [Woodward] lived with my mum & dad after Doris, my mum remarried in 1954. I remember visiting the pub with Kay in maybe 1978 or so to visit her dad Dennis [Woodward] . He was working there then with his mother Annie [the licensee] though he lived in Headington. She died in 1985 but Arthur died in 1955. Attached is a photo of Kay with her Airedale dog Trixie in the pub I believe.

(AH: I think you’re right, they are just outside the back window in the courtyard.)

Vera - Rose and Crown garden (app 1949)

Arthur and Annie Woodward are buried at Wolvercote Cemetry [B2 318].

mail received10th June 2015:            

Doris Brimson, Arthur & Annie Woodward, front - Kay (Woodward) Brimson

The family group is my mum Doris nee Slade,  then her father in law Arthur Charles Woodward with his wife Annie & Kay front.

Dennis Woodward & his 1st wife Doris (nee Slade) who later became Mrs. Brimson

… Mum with Dennis.

Annie Woodward and Kay Woodward

… Then Annie with Kay.

(To follow – more pics to follow, that)

Annie with Arthur Charles. I’m not sure if it’s his or her mother. The last one at present is his or her mother again. She is younger but the same woman. Either a Woodward or Painting.

mail received 10th June 2015:            I believe Dennis Woodward (Arthur and Annie’s son]worked at Littlemore Scientific in Railway Lane, Littlemore in the 1980’s as a driver or handyman. Just before the war on his  daughter, Kay’s birth certificate his occupation is listed as milk rounds man “”(a milkman). The company are in Dorset now I believe. On Google earth the industrial estate has been redeveloped & maybe houses now, behind Sainsbury.

Annie Woodward

(This is Annie Woodward behind the R&C bar, several things have not changed)

My brother is Gary not Roger which I spotted on your great web site.
Below is the 1911 census for both the Woodward family & Painting’s. Arthur Charles Woodward married Annie Painting in Witney in 1921. Dennis was born in 1921 he married Doris Slade, my mum in 1941. They got divorced the war I believe. Kay was born in 1942 & passed away last week ([(4th June 2015) as a result of an accident that happened last year]. Dennis like mum got re-married again.

Dennis Woodward & Monkey
I will send you more photos as we go through & find more again.

a visit on October 11th, 2015:

George Pollitt

Carol Shakespeare and her husband, from Manningtree in Essex, visited us at the Rose and Crown.

Carol’s father, George Pollitt (born at at Barnsley in 1920) and his new wife, Eileen (born at Barnsley in 1921) , were struggling to find accommodation at Oxford, when a room in the Rose and Crown ‘Cottage’ was offered by landlady, Annie Woodward, This was around 1944/5, and they stayed for at least a year.

George Pollitt was a keen member of the bar billiard team and before arriving at Oxford with his new wife, he had served in the Royal Navy as a photographer. In Oxford George worked at the Bodleian Library.

Has anyone any memories, stories, or photographs of George?

1911 Census, Crawley Rd, Witney, Oxon, Folio 156, Piece 5, schedule 178. 8223  Crawley Road, Witney, Oxon

Name                                relationship            age            occupation                                     where born

Charles Painting                      hd                      40         Stone mason, builder                     Bampton, Oxon

Sarah   Painting                      wife                      41                                                                    Hailey, Oxon

William  Painting                     son                      17        masons labourer                             Hailey, Oxon

John     Painting                       son                      15        farm labourer                                  Hailey, Oxon

Ann E   Painting                      daug                     13                                                                    Hailey, Oxon

Florence Painting                    daug                    11        school                                                  New Yatt, Oxon

Charles   Painting                     son                        3                                                                     Witney, Oxon


1911 Census, Aston, Bampton, Oxon.     Folio 156, Piece 2, schedule 94     Bull St, Aston

Name                                          relationship      age        occupation                                     where born

Richard Woodward                  hd                       52        Journeyman Baker                          Chipping Norton, Oxon

Selina Woodward                     wife                     55                                                                      Aston, Bampton, Oxon

Joseph Henry Woodward       son                      25        journeyman, carpenter joiner        Aston, Bampton, Oxon

Arthur Howard Woodward     son                     18       apprentice, carpenter joiner             Straton St Margaret, Wiltshire

Rose Woodward                        daughter            15       student                                                  Aston, Bampton, Oxon

Arthur and Annie had ???  children, the eldest, Dennis, was a seaman during the war and later worked at Littlemore (hospital?) as an engineer in the mobility unit.

Trade Directories are the equivalent of today’s telephone and yellow pages rolled into one. They were used by travelling salesmen and anyone who needed a person in trade or to know who their local officials were. These volumes were produced yearly but do however have their limitations in that not everyone is always recorded and the information may be out of date if not correctly updated, plus spelling mistakes and typos are nothing new! Anyway I have trawled through a selection of them and have attached a spreadsheet with the extracted information. See what you think, comments welcome. 1863 certainly seems like the date beer began to be sold from premises in North Parade but the name Rose & Crown not used until 1868.

email 27th January 2016 from Dave Brimson:

A few more photos of the back of The Rose & Crown.

Kay with her dad Dennis Woodward & Trixie.

There are a couple with Dennis in Navy uniform about 1942.


Dave B 1 jpeg

Dave B 2 jpeg

Dave B 3 jpeg

Dave B 4 jpeg

Dave B 5 jpeg

Oxford Bar Billiards League Finals & Dance
The Rose and Crown win the Oxford Bar Billards trophy in May 1954
Landlord Athur Woodward accepts the trophy alongside his Rose and Crown team.


Trade Directory Entries

Piggot’s Commercial Directory of Oxfordshire & Berkshire
None found for either Rose & Crown premises or for Daniel as beer seller no evidence for anything going on in North Parade at this point.

Slatter’s Oxford Directory
not listed as public house & Daniel not listed as beer seller

Gardner’s Historical Gazetteer & Directory of the County of Oxford
No Stokes’ listed as beer retailers, publicans or gardeners. Rose & Crown not in Public House list

Lascelles’s Oxfordshire Directory.
A Daniel Stokes is listed as a victualler at the Cross Keys, Queen Street and a George Stokes as the proprietor of ‘spring vans’ in Observatory Street.

I do not know what the term ‘spring vans’ means but suspect it is something to do with fresh vegetables (?).

M Billing’s Directory & Gazetteer of Berkshire & Oxfordshire A Daniel Stokes listed as victualler of the Cross Keys public house in Queen Street Trades

1863      Possibly the 1st year that beer was sold on this site …

Dutton Allen & Co Directory of Oxford & Berkshire.
Daniel Stokes, beerseller in North Parade.
No number is given and there is no evidence of a pub name.

Melville & Co. Directory of Berkshire & Oxon
Daniel Stokes, beer retailer in North Parade.
George Stokes 7 observatory St, carrier & remover.

1868      … under the sign of the ROSE and CROWN

Edward Casey & Co Historic gazetteer & directory of Berks & Oxon
Rose & Crown, Stokes, D. North Parade Avenue.
Trades, Licensed victuallers

Websters Oxford Directory
Rose & Crown , Stoke (s missing) D. listed in North Parade but with no number. Entry next to no. 11 & Somerset Lodge

G Shrimpton’s Oxford Directory
D.Stoke, Rose & Crown, North Parade Avenue.
Geo. Stokes carrier & remover of goods, 2 Cranham St.
Henry Stokes, 7 Wytham Terrace, Kingston Rd.
James Stokes, 37 Planation Rd.
Richard Stokes, 2 Eagle & Child yard, St Giles Street
William Stokes, 7 Leckford terrace, Leckford Rd

Oxford Post Office Directory compiled by JC Valters
Stokes, G, carrier 2 Cranham St.
Mrs Stokes., 2 Eagle & Child yard
Stokes, W. Rose & Crown, North Parade Ave.
Stokes, William, 50 Cranham St

Kelly’s Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire directory
Harry Stokes no.14 North Parade. Rose & Crown public house

Harry Stokes no.14 North Parade. Rose & Crown public house

Harry Stokes no.14 North Parade. Rose & Crown public house

Harry Stokes no.14 North Parade. Rose & Crown public house

Alfred Stokes @ 27 Clarendon St &
Harry Stokes @ Rose & Crown

Harry Stokes 14 North Parade, Rose & Crown (None listed in Private residents)

Oxford Street directory
Harry Stokes at Rose & Crown public house

Kelly’s Directory of Oxford
A Harry Stokes listed at 7 Paradise Square, Oxford – Private residents

Bennett’s Business Directory of Berkshire & Oxfordshire
Rose & Crown listed under Public Houses but no occupant details Commercial No other Stokes listed

Kelly’s Oxfordshire directory
Frederick J Stokes, boot-maker at no.4 North Parade and
Harry Stokes at Rose & Crown, North Parade

Kelly’s Oxford & neighbourhood directory
Mrs C Stokes 14 North Parade Rose & Crown Commercial also a
Mrs Stokes listed at 27 Clarendon Street, private residents.

Kelly’s Directory of Oxford
Mrs Cicely Stokes 14 North Parade Rose & Crown Public House Commercial (No other Stokes listed).

Kelly’s Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire directory
Joseph Leighton at the Rose & Crown. Trades No other Stokes listed.

Oxford City Council November 2016,

North Oxford Victorian Suburb Conservation Area Appraisal 

Historic Development

For what was to become ‘one of the most complete Victorian suburbs in the country’, North Oxford did not have the most auspicious of starts. St John’s held the land for centuries before contemplating development and once they did embark on the creation of ‘North Oxford’, it was not the immediate success they had anticipated.
The majority of the land to the north of St Giles church by the turn of the 19th century was still open countryside. Woodstock Road had seen small pockets of development taking place including the Radcliffe Infirmary (1759), the Observatory (1772), and St. John’s Terrace, nos. 47–53 Woodstock Road, built in the early 19th century for prosperous tradesmen. Banbury Road, at that time was nothing more than a country road full of pot-holes and grass verges4, with only a handful of houses having been built. North Parade had been constructed during the 1830s as a road of small terraced houses. Further north, Summertown was evolving into a self-sufficient village community but the main bulk of what was to become St John’s College’s North Oxford estate, was still a combination of fields and allotment gardens cultivating produce for the local market.
St John’s had acquired the land in the 16th century. Previously it had been owned by both St Frideswide Priory and Godstow Abbey, and was conveyed to Henry VIII’s physician George Owen following the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Owen’s son subsequently sold it to Sir Thomas White, founder of St John’s College, in 1573. The College therefore owned a large undeveloped part of the city but was restricted by the long leases already granted and were unable to consider any large scale development until reform was introduced by way of the Oxford University Act 1854. Following the introduction of this Act, leases were not renewed upon expiry and the College was able to consider ways of putting the land to its most economical use.
The College facilitated the enclosure of St Giles Field in 1828, regulating the field boundaries and ownership. This enabled other landowners to develop their land with a number of large houses being built for wealthy local businessmen eg: Thomas Mallam built the Shrubbery on Woodstock Road (now part of St Hugh’s College); George Hester commissioned the Mount and it’s lodge on Banbury Road and John Parsons (a local draper) the Lawn, Banbury Road all of which were Italianate in design.
Although freehold sites were being offered elsewhere in Oxford at this time St John’s made the decision to offer their land on a leasehold basis only. Prior to the 1850s, only 40-year leases could be offered but having obtained an Act of Parliament in 1855, St John’s were in a position to offer more competitive 99-year building leases.
Even before development was started, the potential suburb came under threat from two possible developments that if carried out, would have ended St John’s plans for a middle class suburb. The first was the proposed railway line running across St Giles by the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway. The proposal was thoroughly debated in the House of Commons, and was subsequently dismissed in 1853.
The second threat came from the Board of Guardians. Having approached St John’s for a plot of its land to the west of Woodstock Road and being refused, they acquired a 9-acre site from New College off Banbury Road, abutting St John’s own land. Fortunately for the college, the Board began to question the suitability of this plot for the workhouse and delaying construction while they looked elsewhere. In 1852 the decision was taken not to develop the Banbury Road site, setting up a committee to consider suitable ways of disposing of the land and inviting architects SL Seckham and EG Bruton in 1853 to submit proposals for the best use of the site.
Although St John’s College is synonymous with the development of North Oxford, the first planned development in the suburb was not within their control. Samuel Lipscomb Seckham was appointed by the Board of Guardians in response to his proposal for a development of substantial houses for the emerging middle classes: Park Town. Initial investment in the development was slow but all the houses were occupied by the 1860s.
Although the small houses of North Parade had been built in the 1830s – 1840s, Park Town was perceived to be an area of urban development surrounded by a rural landscape with no sense of identity. The nearest church was in St Giles and Summertown to the north was virtually a self-contained village, Park Town belonged to neither one nor the other. In a n attempt to try to alleviate the problem of isolation and to encourage further development, FJ Morrell (churchwarden and College steward) petitioned St John’s for the establishment of a parish to provide a free church (ie. one where pew rents were not charged) to serve the new community of North Oxford. St John’s eventually agreed to provide the land for the church, and appointed Seckham to draw up plans for the layout of new residential streets.
Seckham’s proposals of 1854 were based around the Walton Manor Estate with grand Italianate villas along Woodstock Road, a church and smaller terraced houses to the west. The scheme was not a success with only two houses being constructed, 121 and 123 Woodstock Road. The proposal for a church in the centre of this development was not acceptable to Morrell who preferred a more central location to provide a ‘heart’ to the new community and be within easy reach of all sectors of the new suburb.
By 1860 Seckham had lost interest in developing St John’s estate with William Wilkinson taking over as supervising architect. Wilkinson’s gothic preferences were more in keeping with the overall vision St John’s had for their land, his initial auctions to dispose of plots were not successful. Despite the release of new land in Norham Manor, development was slow with only 37 houses having been built by the mid1860s.
The slow pace of development was partially blamed on the fact that St John’s were not developers and they were not building for the mass market. They wanted to create a suburb of housing suitable for the middle classes that provided them with a secure long-term income and would not compromise their ideals in order to secure immediate income from their land.
Despite their vision for a middle class suburb, the College had allocated the western portion of the estate for lower middle-class/working class housing which would be more readily developed. Due to its proximity to the canal and Tagg’s Garden5, the western section of the estate already had an established character of smaller housing and was deemed unsuitable for the larger houses St John’s planned elsewhere. Wilkinson prepared a plan for Kingston Road in 1865 and by providing plots for smaller, lower class housing, St John’s could justify its decision to reserve the vast proportion of the estate for its more substantial developments.
The 1870s finally saw a marked increase in the pace of development. The custombuild sector had virtually been exhausted being replaced by speculative development. With the availability of loans from local financial institutions, the new wave of developer was no longer reliant upon attracting investors and could build houses at a much faster rate.
As a result, by the early 1880s over 660 building proposals had been received by the College, one third of which were being financed by the building societies.6 Through loans from the Oxford & Abingdon Building Society, Frederick Codd became one of the major developers of North Oxford during the 1870s beginning with custom-build projects along Banbury Road and in Norham Manor moving onto speculative building schemes including Canterbury Road and Winchester Road. Codd was initially successful with most of his houses being bought quickly, with his houses contributing greatly to the character and appearance of the estate, but by the end of the decade, he had gone bankrupt.
The other main building society, the Oxford Building & Investment Company, also suffered during the late 1870s and by the early 1880s had gone into liquidation. Walter Gray was appointed as liquidator and took on the unfinished projects being financed by the former building society. Over the next twenty years, he became the dominant developer in North Oxford. In 1881 he entered into partnership with HW Moore who as College architect ensured that his building plans were passed quickly, and went on to build over 200 houses, mainly in the north-western sector of the suburb (Kingston Road, St Margaret’s Road, Polstead Road and Chalfont Road).
By the 1880s, over half the estate had been developed with a mixture of quality housing. St John’s released Southmoor Road in 1880, running parallel with the railway and Kingston Road, and was to continue the small-scale housing dominating the adjacent roads. Wilkinson and Moore were responsible for the development but the College found the houses they built were too large and expensive for the occupiers they were intended for. Committed to providing smaller cheaper housing, St John’s laid out Hayfield Road in 1886 ensuring the houses were kept small in line with their instruction.
Although the majority of the western section of the estate had been developed by the 1880s, large parts of the eastern side remained rural in character. Wilkinson and Moore submitted proposals for the development of this land in 1883 and though the proposals were accepted in principle, permission was not forthcoming as the college could not afford to construct the road at that time. It was not until the 1890s that the Bardwell Estate was laid out. Wilkinson had retired, Moore was the supervising

Character Appraisal 
There are three separate character areas within the conservation area:
a. East of Banbury Road
b. The central section between Woodstock and Banbury Roads
c. West of Woodstock Road
Whilst each area is undeniably related to each other through use, architects, design and materials, Woodstock Road and Banbury Road do create a physical and natural division between the three sections.

In section ‘b.‘ it reads …   There area a few pockets of commercial activity in North Oxford, one of which being the narrow one-way road, full of rainbow coloured shops and restaurants, known as North Parade Avenue. This road pre-dates most development in North Oxford, having been built in the 1830s as small terraced housing. It is a cheerful vibrant road; its narrowness creates a sense of intimacy and enclosure, and its proximity to Banbury Road is soon forgotten. 77 Banbury Road, a bright and sunny yellow stuccoed villa welcomes you at the entry point to North Parade and entices the passer-by into the bunting-lined road.
The western end of North Parade Avenue opens out into a crossroads with Church Walk and Winchester Road, which in typical North Oxford fashion is characterised by mature trees and tall gothic houses. Church Walk turns into a pedestrian access through to Woodstock Road, narrowing into a stone walled passageway between the former St Philip and St James Church and the Tudor styled former vicarage forming part of St Antony’s College. The church and the vicarage create a contrasting image: the church is one of the best known Victorian churches, designed by GE Street, 1862 and is now Grade I listed. The coursed rubble stone is interspersed with brick banding and the spire was added in the latter 1860s. The former vicarage is a Tudor inspired 1887 building by HGW Drinkwater characterised by coursed rubble limestone to the ground floor, roughcast and ornamental half timbering to the first floor and tile hanging to gable apex.

With special thanks to:

Jeff Stokes for sharing his family history with us.

David and Roger Brimson for sharing their family history with us.

and we are indebted to 


for their 41 years of support to the Rose and Crown!