A magnet for Jericho’s children, layabouts and rats

Grantham House site

Posted - November 07, 2007

The Grantham House site also hit the headlines the last time it was redeveloped. ­Until 1961 the houses on both sides of the top of Cranham Street were owned by St John’s College which sold them for £47,000. Then these, along with those at the top of Jericho Street, were bought by Ashdale Properties. 13 families were rehoused, with one given notice to quit.

Following a long planning delay the site became notoriously derelict, making Cranham Street according to the local press a ‘blot on the city’ – wrecked by local children, and a refuge for rats and for ‘layabouts sleeping off the drink’ who were repeatedly evicted by the police. Ashdale said they were ‘extremely shocked by the total lack of responsibility of people in the immediate neighbourhood’. Even after the houses were demolished in 1965 the site was empty for years until Grantham House was built.

Did you know?

Why Jericho still has such a mix of houses?

Jericho's intriguing mix of housing today owes a lot, to the Residents' Association in the 1960s and 1970s which together with the then Vicar and some local councillors resisted plans to bulldoze the whole area and turn it over to offices and light industrial use.

Who has a car?

According to the 2001 Census, only 47% of Jericho households have a car compared with 67% for Oxford as a whole.