High Street (east), No. 105 (Bull Inn)
A house here is documented from 1473, when the prominent Burford merchant John Pinnock left it first to his son and granddaughter, and then to the parish church; the church received the rents from 1489 in return for an annual mass for Pinnock's soul. The town lost the property at the Reformation but later recovered it, and in 1599 leased it to the occupier, Andrew Ward, who had married the widow of a previous tenant. The building's medieval origins can be seen from the courtyard, in the deep jowled posts to the rear of the small gatehouse over the carriageway. The cellar under the front bar could also be medieval in origin. The first-floor gallery, originally open, would have given access to the upper room(s) (Panel 9). Though the overall layout would fit that of a medieval inn there is no documentary evidence for an inn here before the 17th century, and in 1539 the tenant was a butcher.
In 1610 John Silvester (who had acquired Ward's interest) opened the Bull Inn here, transferred from Nos. 111–113 nearby. A later John Silvester rebuilt it c.1620, perhaps the date of the small, low-ceilinged rooms behind the street frontage with their 17th-century fireplaces and panelling, some of it brought from elsewhere. The striking brick and stone façade was added in the 18th century, probably around 1715 by the innkeeper William Tash (see Panel 9), and in 1768 £196 was spent on further building work. Some regular bricks in the upper part of the façade are modern replacements, following a major fire in 1982.
The Bull was sold by the charity trustees in or after 1820, and by 1910 was owned by Clinch & Co. of Witney. It remained open in 2007.
See: South Midlands Archaeology 13 (1983), 88–90; M Laithwaite, 'The Buildings of Burford', in A Everitt, (ed), Perspectives in English Urban History (1973) 61; R Moody, Inns of Burford (2007 edn) 20–32; RH Gretton, The Burford Records (1920) 319, 321, 358–9, 366, 372–3, 428–30, 433–6, 519