No. 35 Albert Street

Image:Jenny Barsley

Former School

Posted - November 02, 1998

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 origins of Walton?

Walton is derived from “wall town” which was used centuries ago to indicate a location outside the Oxford city walls. The ancient manor of Walton was certainly in existence before the Norman conquest in 1066.

Where we work?

According to the 2001 Census, in Jericho 28% of those working were self-employed, while 18% worked part time. Around 20% were in higher professional occupations compared with 14% for Oxford. We also tend to work nearby: 72% of people worked within five kilometres of their home; 18% went to work on foot, 13% by car and 6% by bike