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Templars Square

templars square shopping centre, templars square oxford
Templars Square is a shopping centre located in Between Towns Road, Cowley, Oxford, England It was opened in 1965 and was known as Cowley Centre2 until 1989 It is the largest enclosed shopping centre in Oxford3


  • 1 Development and construction
  • 2 Opening and subsequent history
  • 3 Facilities
  • 4 Further reading
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Development and constructionedit

A shopping centre in central Cowley was first proposed in the late 1950s By 1959, the proposal had received strong endorsement from Oxford City Council, and an embargo on new shopping developments along the nearby Cowley Road was enforced The development was opposed by William Beveridge, who felt that Cowley was the wrong location for the centre4

Construction of the development, by now known as Cowley Centre, began in 1960 Its design was inspired by new town centres and North American shopping malls5 The shopping centre designed by the Oxford City Architects E G Chandler and Douglas Murray2 Between Towns Road was realigned when Cowley Centre was built

Opening and subsequent historyedit

Cowley Centre was opened in May 1965 by Richard Crossman, then Minister of Housing and Local Government The opening ceremony was attended by over 300 people1

In 1970, the Sainsbury's store at the northern end of the centre was extended, requiring the demolition of a local pub, which was rebuilt around twenty yards away6 The Sainsbury's store later closed and was replaced by branches of Wilkinson and Iceland7

The centre was renamed to Templars Square in 1989, and celebrated its 20th year under the name with a series of events in August 20091 In January 2014 part of the centre's glass roof was damaged in a storm8


As of August 2009, Templars Square has 63 retailers, making it the largest shopping centre in Oxford This number had decreased from 85 in 2002, partly because of the financial crisis of 2007–2010; one of the largest stores, Woolworth's, closed in December 2009 However, overall trade at the centre was largely unaffected by the recession1 The Woolworth's site has since been taken over by 99p Stores9 As of June 2010, the centre's occupancy rate is 96%10

Templars Square has a six-storey car park This opened in 1964, a year before the shopping centre In July 2009 the top deck of the car park was temporarily closed after three people died by falling from it11

The centre is located adjacent to the Templars Retail Park, which is legally restricted to non-food sales to avoid competition with the centre In December 2010 a proposal was announced to relax the restriction and open a new supermarket at the site, which was opposed by the centre's management9 This has since changed with a Sainsburys superstore opening in this retail park

Further readingedit

  • The Cowley shopping centre Her Majesty's Stationery Office 1968 ISBN 0-11-700376-X 


  1. ^ a b c d Hearn, Dan 14 August 2009 "We're beating the recession, says Oxford shopping centre" Oxford Mail 
  2. ^ a b Hibbert, Christopher; Hibbert, Edward, eds 1988 "Cowley Centre" The Encyclopaedia of Oxford Macmillan p 112 ISBN 0-333-39917-X 
  3. ^ "Templars Square Shopping Centre, Cowley, Oxford" templarssquarecom Retrieved 17 May 2011 
  4. ^ Skinner, Annie 2005 Cowley Road: A History Signal Books ISBN 978-1-904955-10-8 
  5. ^ Benson, John; Shaw, Gareth 1999 The retailing industry 3 Post 1945 - retail revolutions IB Tauris 
  6. ^ Yurdan, Marilyn 2009 Oxford in the 1950s and '60s The History Press Ltd p 121 ISBN 978-0-7524-5219-7 
  7. ^ "Perl found in Cowley shopping centre" Property Week 5 September 2003 
  8. ^ Oxford's Templars Square shopping centre glass roof smashes BBC News, 26 January 2014
  9. ^ a b Hartford, Maggie 2 December 2010 "New supermarket could open in Cowley" UK: Witney Gazette  External link in |publisher= help
  10. ^ "B&M boosts retail offering at Templars Square" shopping-centrecouk 22 June 2010 
  11. ^ Wilkinson, Matt 10 July 2009 "Suicides prompt closure of Oxford car park's top storey" Oxford Mail 

External linksedit

  • Templars Square website

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