No. 35 Albert Street

Image:Jenny Barsley

Posted - November 02, 1998

Former School

This artists’ studio was built in 1840 as a school for Wesleyan boys, and was connected with the nearby chapel in Cranham Street (now the Green College laboratory). The house at the corner with Cranham Street was occupied by the headmaster. The 1847 Education Act declared, however, that boys and girls had to be educated together. Since the building was too small to take more pupils it had to close as a school.

It was then taken over by a coal merchant who kept his horses in the lower part and his stock in the upper part. The building still has the hook used to hoist the bags up and down. In 1917 one wall began to collapse and the building had to be shored up with girders and railway sleepers.

The next occupant was an upholsterer, until in the 1950s Faulkners (currently in the Botley Road) bought it to use as a motorcycle workshop. But local people complained about the noise from the machines and the Council refused to let them continue using it for this purpose.

Then it was bought by the present owner, the writer and artist, Tinker Mather who lives in Allam Street and who engaged Ian Miller to redesign the interior. Mrs Mather no longer uses the building herself but lets it out to other artists, including Tom Wise and Helen Ganley.

Author: Jenny Barsley

Did you know?

The history of the Phoenix?

There has been a cinema here since 1913. Orginally it the ‘North Oxford Kinema’, since when it has passed through many hands and names, including the Scala, the New Scala, the Studios 1 and 2, Studio X (a club showing soft porn) and finally in 1977 the Phoenix.

How religious we are?

In the 2001 Census, some 50% of Jericho residents said they were Christian, 2.2% Muslim, 1.9% Buddhist and 1.2% professed other religions, while 34% of people said they had no religion. In Oxford as a whole the proportion with no religion was 24%.