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?

Who owns the houses?

In Jericho in 2011, only 21% of households were owner occupiers. Instead, many more people rented their homes: 58% from private landlords and 20% from ‘social’ landlords, mostly the City Council.

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.