High Street (east), No. 117 (Highway Hotel)
The façade is almost entirely of the 1920s (below), but the structure contains remains of another late 15th-century building, whose jetty survives above the 19th-century shopfronts. If the off-centre stone arched doorway with quatrefoil decoration in the spandrels is in its original position, then the original ground floor may have been of stone. A separate 16th-century doorway to the north is of timber, however. The earliest identifiable heat-source is a fireplace in the north ground-floor room. An earlier open hearth would have been impossible in a 'longwall' jettied building of this type, though the room may originally have been an unheated shop.
In the mid 16th century this was one of numerous buildings owned by Simon Wisdom (cf. Nos. 115, 123), who left it to his nephew Ralph. From the 17th century to 1824 it was owned by the Hunt family, some of whom lived here, though the property was sometimes divided: in 1727 the occupants were Thomas Hunt, ironmonger, and William Leach, hatter. From 1824 to the 1890s it was owned and occupied by the Bowl family, grocers and tallow chandlers. Later wings were added to the rear in the 16th and 17th centuries, and a rear room contains a kitchen range of the 1890s.
In 1922 the building became the Highway Private Hotel, and around that time E.J. Horniman of The Priory extended it upwards to create an apparent second storey. The original roof can still be seen (and felt) within the bedrooms at this level. The first-floor oriel windows, despite their 19th-century appearance, are also of the 1920s, though the frames of the Georgian sash windows between them may date from an 18th-century refronting of the upper floor. The sash windows themselves are late 19th- or early 20th-century replacements, datable by the 'horns' to the upper sash. The hotel remained open in 2007, but a needlework shop which occupied part of the first floor and basement closed after a change of ownership.
See: Listed Buildings Description; Oxfordshire Record Office, MS Wills Oxon. 61/4/42; RH Gretton, The Burford Records (1920), 449, 458; RM; R Moody, Inns of Burford (2007 edn), 66–7; A Jewell, Burford in Old Photographs (1985), 19