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Summertown, Oxford

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Summertown in North Oxford is a suburb of Oxford, England

Summertown is a one-mile square residential area, north of St Giles, the boulevard leading out of Oxford’s city centre Summertown is home to several independent schools and the city’s most expensive houses1 On both sides of Banbury Road are Summertown's popular shops There is also a smaller street of shops and restaurants, South Parade, that links Banbury Road and Woodstock Road

Summertown is home to much of Oxford's broadcast media BBC Radio Oxford and the BBC Television's Oxford studios are on Banbury Road Start-ups also have an increasing presence on the parade, such as Brainomix and Passle The studios for JACK FM, Glide FM, and Six TV Oxford no longer broadcasting are on Woodstock Road

Oxfam International Secretariat is based on Banbury Road2 Just over half – 509 per cent – of the local population have a degree1


  • 1 History
  • 2 Churches
    • 21 Church of England
    • 22 Non-conformist
    • 23 Roman Catholic
  • 3 Educational facilities
  • 4 Public transport
  • 5 Notable former and current residents
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 Sources
  • 9 External links


Most of north Oxford came into being as a result of the revolutionary decision by the university to permit college fellows to marry and live in real houses, as opposed to rooms in college1 Large houses were built on farmland either side of Banbury Road and Woodstock Road Much of the land belonged to St John's College, Oxford and the houses were originally sold leasehold St John's has since sold the freehold on most of these properties


Church of Englandedit

Summertown's Church of England parish church is Saint Michael and All Angels in Lonsdale Road3 The parish originated as part of Saint Giles, Oxford, when the chapel of Saint John the Baptist was completed in Middle Way, Summertown in 18324 It was a chapel of ease until 1834, when it was made a separate ecclesiastical parish4

The Gothic Revival architect HJ Underwood designed St John's in an Early English Gothic style4 It was cruciform with a nave, north and south transepts and a short chancel It had no tower but there was a bell-turret on the western gable of the nave4 The Oxford Diocesan architect, GE Street extended the chancel and added the vestry in 18574 In 1875 St John's was enlarged again with the addition of north and south aisles, an organ chamber and a second vestry,4 presumably for a choir

The congregation outgrew St John's so a new church, St Michael and All Angels in Lonsdale Road, was built to replace it 1908-094 St John's was demolished in 1924,4 the site was sold in 1970 and a block of flats now stands on the site5

St Michael's also is a cruciform Early English Gothic Revival building, in this case designed by AM Mowbray46 The building has never been completed It has a chancel, north and south transepts, vestry, and a south chapel beside the chancel, but the nave and north and south aisles comprise only one bay ending in a "temporary" west wall that has stood for more than a century4 The building is coursed rubblestone apart from the temporary west wall, which is brick5


A nonconformist chapel in Middle Way was completed in 1824 but had closed by 18307 It has been a Spiritualist church since 196757

Summertown United Reformed Church began in 1838 as a Congregational mission to Summertown7 A chapel for it in Middle Way was completed in 18447 The present Gothic Revival church on Banbury Road was built in 1894 and its transepts and meeting room were added in 19107 The former chapel in Middle Way was demolished in 19717

Both St Michael's and the URC church belong to the Summertown-Wolvercote Church Partnership3 which is a local ecumenical partnership

Woodstock Road Baptist Church,8 on the corner of Beechcroft Road, was opened in 1897 and rebuilt in 19557 It is a member of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches

Roman Catholicedit

The Roman Catholic Parish church of SS Gregory and Augustine on Woodstock Road,9 was founded in 1911,610 the same year as SS Edmund and Frideswide Iffley Road, now run by the Capuchin Franciscans Previously the Oxford area had been served by the Jesuits at St Aloysius now an Oratory of St Philip Neri, which was founded in 1875, replacing the church of St Ignatius in St Clement's, which had been founded immediately after the relaxation of the penal laws forbidding the building of Catholic places of worship, in 1795 More Catholic parishes were established in the ensuing decades

The architect was Ernest Newton, FRIBA and a much admired member of the Arts and Crafts movement The fabric of the church is very little changed from the time of its foundation

Nikolaus Pevsner described the church thus 1974: "By Ernest Newton Small and stuccoed A rectangle, white, with a cupola W window with a gently double-curved head Plaster tunnel-vault inside with tie beams"

Educational facilitiesedit

The county secondary school for the area is Cherwell School on Marston Ferry Road to the east of Banbury Road Cherwell School is the site for MECO Islamic School, a modern professional weekly Saturday Islamic School for all Muslim and other children aged 4–16 St Clare's, Oxford, an independent, international residential college offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma, English-language courses and IB teacher workshops is located on Banbury Road The independent co-educational 13-18 boarding school, St Edward's School is located on Woodstock Road The independent day and boarding Sixth Form of d'Overbroeck's College is on Banbury Road The independent boys 8-13 preparatory school Summer Fields School is located on Mayfield Road Traditionally Summer Fields is rivaled by its North Oxford neighbour, the co-educational boarding and day school 4-13, the Dragon School which is on Bardwell Road on the perimeter of Summertown Lynams, the pre-prep school for the Dragon School for boys and girls from 4–7 years old, is located on Woodstock Road Northern House School which specializes in delivering special needs education is located on South Parade Oxford High School, independent girls 11-18 school and member of Girls' Day School Trust, is located on Belbroughton Road, east of Banbury Road Oxford High School Junior Department: Greycotes, independent school for girls, ages 6–11, is located on Bardwell Road Oxford High School Junior Department: The Squirrel, independent school for girls and boys aged 4–6, is located on Woodstock Road SS Philip and James Primary School, 'Phil & Jim', a Church of England Aided Primary School is located on Navigation Way11 Ewert House in Ewert Place is part of the University of Oxford It houses lecture and seminar rooms of the Department for Continuing Education and a large examination hall Wolfson College, University of Oxford is located on Linton Road, Summertown Magna Carta College is situated on Mayfield Road, Summertown

Public transportedit

In 1898 the City of Oxford Tramways Company extended its Banbury Road horse tram route to a new terminus at Summertown In 1913 the company replaced its horse trams with motor buses12 Buses running between central Oxford and Summertown via Banbury Road include the Oxford Bus Company 2, 2A, 2B, 2C and 2D, Heyfordian Travel 25 and 25A and Stagecoach 7, 7A, 7B, 17 and S5 Banbury Road also has limited-stop Park and Ride bus services linking Water Eaton with central Oxford route 500 run by the Oxford Bus Company and with the John Radcliffe Hospital route 700 run by Stagecoach As of 2011, Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach came to an agreement in which they would share the same bus timetable This eliminated the 7, 7A and 7B buses This also benefited the public because not only were the buses more coordinated in their schedule but the public could use the same ticket/bus pass on each of the bus companies' buses

Notable former and current residentsedit

  • JRR Tolkien, philologist, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University and Fellow of Pembroke College
  • Colin Dexter, author of the Inspector Morse novels13
  • James Murray, lexicographer and philologist
  • Desmond Morris, zoologist, ethologist and popular anthropologist
  • Sir Martin Wood, co-founder of Oxford Instruments plc
  • Sir Harold Warris Thompson, physical chemist
  • Lord Berkeley, chairman of the Rail Freight Group14
  • Leszek Kołakowski, philosopher and publicist
  • Yannis Philippakis of Foals
  • Sir Adam Roberts, academic, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College and President of the British Academy
  • Margaret Gowing, academic, first Professor of the History of Science at the University of Oxford, Fellow of Linacre College
  • Tom Ward, actor who plays Harry in the BBC drama series Silent Witness
  • Sir Owen St Clair O'Malley, diplomat
  • Thom Yorke of Radiohead
  • Sir Francis Simon, the leading physical chemist, physicist, and Fellow of Christ Church, Oxford
  • Dame Iris Murdoch, author and philosopher
  • John Bayley, previously Warton Professor of English at Oxford, novelist and literary critic
  • John Scott Haldane CH FRS, physiologist, Fellow of New College, famous for intrepid self-experimentation
  • JBS Haldane, British-born Indian geneticist and evolutionary biologist
  • Naomi Mitchison, novelist and poet

See alsoedit

  • Lonsdale Road including residents15


  1. ^ a b c "The Times | UK News, World News and Opinion" Propertytimesonlinecouk 2012-05-03 Retrieved 2012-05-23 
  2. ^ "Frequently asked questions | Oxfam International" Oxfamorg Retrieved 2012-05-23 
  3. ^ a b "St Michaels Church, Summertown" Stmichaels-summertownorguk Retrieved 2012-05-23 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Crossley & Elrington, 1979, pages 369-412
  5. ^ a b c "Oxfordshire Churches & Chapels: Summertown: St Michael & All Angels" Oxfordshirechurchesinfo Retrieved 2012-05-23 
  6. ^ a b Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 332
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Crossley & Elrington, 1979, pages 415-424
  8. ^ "Woodstock Road Baptist Church" Wrbcorguk Retrieved 2012-05-23 
  9. ^ "SS Gregory & Augustine RC Church" Gregoryandaugustineblogspotcom Retrieved 2012-05-23 
  10. ^ Crossley & Elrington, 1979, pages 412-415
  11. ^ "Summertown - Schools" Summertowninfo Retrieved 2012-05-23 
  12. ^ Crossley & Elrington, 1979, pages 350-364
  13. ^ "Times report" Propertytimesonlinecouk 2012-05-03 Retrieved 2012-05-23 
  14. ^ Rail Freight Group - Directorsdead link
  15. ^ Kinchin, Perilla 2006 Seven Roads in Summertown: Voices from an Oxford Suburb White Cockade Publishing ISBN 187348713-4 


  • Eleanor Chance, Christina Colvin, Janet Cooper, CJ Day, TG Hassall, Mary Jessup, Nesta Selwyn 1979 Crossley, Alan; Elrington, CR, eds Victoria County History: A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 4  CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list link
  • Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus 1974 The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire Harmondsworth: Penguin p 332 et al ISBN 0-14-071045-0 

External linksedit

  • Summertown Info: Welcome to Summertown The Heart of north Oxford
  • Map of Summertown at Google Maps
  • Summertown Health Centre NHS

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