The Hill (west): Nos 166-168 and 170-172
Though substantially rebuilt, these two small cottages and two adjoining houses originated probably as two neighbouring medieval houses. Nos. 166–168 suggest the remains of a medieval hall-house, with the hall on the site of No. 168 (left), and the cross wing at No. 166 (right), which retains a through-passage. Most of the existing buildings are late 17th-century with 19th-century windows, however, and the street gable at No. 166 is a 19th-century addition. Nineteenth-century occupants were mostly agricultural labourers, but the earlier occupation history is unknown.
At Nos. 170–172 (below), a single medieval predecessor probably occupied the entire burgage plot. The site of the doorway at No. 170, which led to a through-passage, may be a survival, while at No. 172 there is a cellar under the right-hand part, perhaps originally accessible from both house and street. Both houses were apparently rebuilt in the 17th century, and were substantially remodelled later. No. 170, which has internal evidence of timber framing, was the Sun Inn from the 1680s to 1807, and in the 19th century was variously occupied by a grocer, joiner, butcher, and chimney sweeps. In the 1920s it was heavily remodelled probably by the builder Charles Pether (owner-occupier in 1910), using elements of Cotswold vernacular such as stone-mullioned windows and a Tudor-arched doorway. Former stabling at the rear was converted to domestic use around the same time. The author David Ayerst lived here from the 1960s to 1992, and the house was further restored in the 1990s.
No. 172, owned from the mid 17th to early 18th century by members of the Jordan family, was temporarily divided, with a small stone one-bay cottage over the cellar and a separate, probably timber-framed part to the left (though visible timbers are re-used). In the 18th century it received its symmetrical ashlar front and a rear wing, and in the 1840s was probably occupied by an excise officer, land agent and servant.
See: Listed Building Description; N Pevsner, Buildings of England: Oxfordshire (1974), 513; RH Gretton, The Burford Records (1920) 447, 461; Oxfordshire Record Office, QSD V/1–4; R Moody, The Inns of Burford (2007 edn) 70