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Golden Cross, Oxford

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Golden Cross also previously known as the Cross Inn1 is a shopping arcade at 5 Cornmarket Street in central Oxford, England2 The original structure on the site dates from 1193, when it was called Maugershall after the then owner, and consisted of shops with an inn on the upper storeys The building structures now on the site date from the late 15th century, when they were used as a traditional coaching inn, as is clear from its layout and historical documents3 It has been redeveloped as a number of small upmarket shops from a collection of the historic buildings in the Golden Cross courtyard to the east off Cornmarket Street, one of Oxford's main shopping streets Golden Cross is now used as Oxford's branch of Pizza Express, while a path underneath leads through to the historic Covered Market

There is strong but circumstantial evidence to link the buildings with William Shakespeare, given his player's company’s known performances in Oxford and the route from Stratford-on-Avon to London passing through Oxford It is believed that Hamlet was performed in the inn courtyard and a signature that is reputedly his can be seen on the wall in the bursar’s office on the first floor of the adjacent building occupied by New College, Oxford

The buildings were comprehensively restored in 1986/87 by Cordwell Property and Mal Parker of Dunthorne Parker Architects when the buildings were converted into a variety of retail uses, and a new structure carefully integrated into the existing building ranges to allow a sensitively constructed direct route through to the adjacent Covered Market This covered market was constructed in 1774 so as to relocate the stalls previously pitched on the Cornmarket but no direct access had been possible from the main retail street of Cornmarket up until the completion of this development

The poet Alexander Pope stayed here in 1735 The 15th century buildings have original timberwork and there are various examples of early wall paintings and hand painted wallpaper on the upper floors of the building, still easily accessible and viewable via the pizza restaurant that currently occupies the upper floors of the north range of buildings

See alsoedit

  • Clarendon Shopping Centre
  • Westgate Shopping Centre

Referencesedit

  1. ^ "5 Cornmarket former Golden Cross Inn" Cornmarket Oxford History, UK Retrieved 7 January 2013  External link in |publisher=, |work= help
  2. ^ Hibbert, Christopher, ed 1988 "Golden Cross" The Encyclopaedia of Oxford Macmillan pp 155–156 ISBN 0-333-39917-X 
  3. ^ Pantin, W A; Rouse, E Clive 1955 "The Golden Cross, Oxford" PDF Oxoniensia XX Oxford Architectural & Historical Society/Ashmolean Museum pp 46–89 


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