This black and white reduction of a l9th century etching must have been seen by most local people by now A reader reported that he had seen an original copy in a pile of pictures in a bookshop on the High in Oxford; a price or about £90.00 was attached.
The date, approximately, we managed to work out. A magnifying glass revealed the names on the shops on the left hand side as well as the corner shop on the right. These names, plus their order of appearance, are exactly the same as those listed in the national Census of 1851. They do not completely fit the censuses of 1841 or 1861 So, to say that this is very probably an etching of the early 1850s seems a reasonable supposition. This view, had no doubt looked the same for a long time before 1850, with the proviso that at one time the block of buildings on the right did not exist and took the place of the mediaeval building; the date of this alteration is unknown but the likely century is the l8th. A case can be made out that this line of the High Street may also have been the principal street of the Romano-British walled town of the third to fifth centuries A.D.
Winter 96 index