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Headington is a suburb of Oxford, England1 It is at the top of Headington Hill overlooking the city in the Thames Valley below The life of the large residential area is centred upon London Road, the main road between London and Oxford

The Manor Ground off London Road in Headington


  • 1 History
  • 2 Headington today
  • 3 Sport and leisure
  • 4 Notable residents
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 Sources and further reading
  • 8 External links


The site of Headington shows evidence of continued occupation from the Stone Age, as the 2001 field excavations in Barton Lane found, suggesting a date in the 11th century BC Pottery was found on the Manor Ground, suggesting an Iron Age settlement there in the 7th century BC Roman kilns from about AD 300 have been found, including one now on display at the Museum of Oxford Anglo-Saxon burial remains from about AD 500 have also been discovered

Headington's toponym is derived from the Old English Hedena's dun, meaning "Hedena's hill", when it was the site of a palace or hunting lodge of the Kings of Mercia In a charter of 1004, Ethelred II of England, "written at the royal ville called Headan dune", gave land in Headington to Frideswide's priory, which included the quarry and the area around it

Church of England parish church of St Andrew in Old Headington

Henry I granted a chapel at Headington to the Augustinian canons regular of the Priory of St Frideswide, Oxford when the priory was founded in 11222 The Church of England parish church of Saint Andrew was built in the middle of the 12th century and enlarged in the 13th century23 The bell tower was started in the 13th or 14th century3 and completed in about 15002 St Andrew's was repaired in the 17th and 18th centuries2 The Gothic Revival architect JC Buckler restored the building2 and lengthened the nave in 1862–186423

Headington developed rapidly in the early 20th century, significant amounts of housing developed around the medieval village, now known as Old Headington, around the original parish church of St Andrew In 1927, it became an urban district separate from the Headington Rural District and in 1929 it was added to the city of Oxford The other side of the London Road is called New Headington4

Oxford United was originally Headington United FC Until 2001 its home ground was the Manor Ground, which had its main entrance on London Road In 2001 Oxford United moved to the Kassam Stadium near Blackbird Leys The Manor Ground has since been demolished and a private hospital built on the site

The City of Oxford Silver Band began as the Headington Brass Band having been founded in the 19th century

In 2002 a re-warding of the City created a ward called Headington representing both sides of the London Road, from Bury Knowle Park to Headley Way, with two elected representatives The first councillors for this ward were David Rundle 2002– and Stephen Tall 2002–2008 Ruth Wilkinson was elected to succeed Stephen Tall in May 2008, and Mohammed Altaf-Khan to succeed David Rundle in 2014

Headington todayedit

Headington has a large and growing population5 Headington's main employment sectors are medicine, education, and research In the centre of Headington are a number of shops, pubs, cafés, restaurants, and other services The area also includes the main campus of Oxford Brookes University, Ruskin College which moved in its entirety from central Oxford to its Headington site in 2012, and the city's main hospitals, including the John Radcliffe, Nuffield and Churchill

Headington's most famous modern landmark is The Headington Shark, made by John Buckley for local broadcaster Bill Heine in 1986

Headington has a number of green spaces including Headington Hill and Bury Knowle parks Close by is Shotover Hill, a heath and woodland area with views over Oxfordshire, and listed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest The Warneford Meadow a wild grassland, bought in 1918 by public subscription for the adjacent Warneford Hospital has been registered as a Town Green and has thus escaped development

Sport and leisureedit

Headington has a non-league football team Headington Amateurs FC who play at the Barton Recreation Ground

Notable residentsedit

J R R Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, lived at 76 Sandfield Road in Headington from 1953 until 1968 C S Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, moved to the district in 1921 he was born in Northern Ireland in 1898 and lived there until moving to The Kilns at nearby Risinghurst in 1930 He lived there until his death in 1963 at The Kilns6 Lewis is buried at Holy Trinity Church at Headington Quarry

A more recent resident was John Simpson, senior editor of the Oxford English Dictionary A number of Oxford academics have decamped to Headington over the years, preferring it to North Oxford where most dons livedcitation needed They include Lord Krebs, David Marquand and Anthony Kenny Sir Isaiah Berlin, the historian A B Emden, the chemist Dalziel Hammick, Lord Elton, Michael Ernest Sadler and John Johnson the University Printer were also among them Others included music producer Adam Lee,citation needed the author Elizabeth Bowen, Robert Maxwell and Lord Nuffield William Morris and Anne Diamond, the television presenter and author Brian Aldiss, the science fiction writer, lives in Old Headington Emma Watson, Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter films, lives in Headington She also attended Headington School

See alsoedit

  • Headington Hill
  • Headington Hill Hall
  • Headington Road
  • Headington School
  • Cheney School
  • St Andrew's Church, Headington


  1. ^ Hibbert, Christopher, ed 1988 "Headington" The Encyclopaedia of Oxford Macmillan pp 166–167 ISBN 0-333-39917-X 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Lobel, 1957, pages 157–168
  3. ^ a b c Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 336
  4. ^ Stephanie Jenkins 7 August 2010 "Miscellaneous History: History of policing" History of Headington, Oxford Retrieved 29 June 2008 
  5. ^ "oxfordgovuk" PDF 
  6. ^ John Visser 1994–2010 "Multimedia - Picture Album" Into the Wardrobe - a CS Lewis web site Retrieved 30 December 2010 

Sources and further readingedit

  • Bloxham, Christine; Shatford, Susanne 1996 The Changing Faces of Headington: Book One Witney: Robert Boyd Publications ISBN 1-899536-05-1 
  • Lobel, Mary D, ed 1957 A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 5: Bullingdon Hundred Victoria County History pp 157–168 
  • Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus 1974 Oxfordshire The Buildings of England Harmondsworth: Penguin Books pp 336–339 ISBN 0-14-071045-0 

External linksedit

  • Headington community website — news, local information, and an extensive history section
  • Headington's City Councillors website – updates and contact details for Headington
  • Headington Farmers' Market

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