High Street (east): No. 19-21
This long pair of 18th-century façades hides remains of two 17th-century houses. The left-hand or northern one (No. 19) was probably rebuilt when it became the King's Arms Inn before 1773. A former doorway is visible in newer stonework under the central window. The right-hand façade is slightly earlier, as can be seen at the eaves where they meet. The two were linked in 1933, when the whole building became the girls' school for Burford Grammar School. The doorway in No. 21 was probably created then.
Earlier houses here are documented from the late Middle Ages. In 1493 Robert Coke or Moke of Chilson granted a predecessor of No. 19 to Thomas Everard and his wife, and around 1526 it was given to Brasenose College, Oxford. The college’s tenants included a shoemaker, Simon Perks (1620s–30s). The King's Arms continued here until the 1870s, under a fast-changing succession of innkeepers; of those John Richards (1850s) was also a farmer and ironmonger, while his daughter was a coal merchant. Occupants from the 1880s were corn merchants, members of the Potter family. A predecessor of No. 21 was occupied in 1526 by a mason, William Este, and in 1739 by the fellmonger John Smith, whose fire insurance mark survives on the façade. His premises included a malthouse and stable and were insured for £400.
By 1841, like many Burford houses, No. 21 had been subdivided, its northern part successively occupied by a millwright (1840s–50s), a general dealer and lodgers (1860s), and carpenter (1870s–90s). The southern part housed a mason (1840s) and shoemakers or cordwainers (1850s–80s).
See: Pevsner, Buildings of England: Oxon. 518; R Moody, Inns of Burford (2007 edn), 54–5; RH Gretton, Burford Records (1920) 458, 672-3; ORO QSD V/1–4; Guildhall, Sun policy 82516