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Sheep Street (south): No. 29 (Roche House)

The ashlar façade is of 1696 (datestone), but masks an earlier building: note the position of the doorway and side passage, squeezed into a corner. The initials RAS, on a plaque over the doorway, refer probably to Robert and Sarah Aston. They were proprietors of the Bull Inn, and reputedly commissioned the refronting from the local master-mason and quarry owner Christopher Kempster, an associate of Sir Christopher Wren. At the rear is a timber-framed and gabled wing which has been claimed as 16th-century, though it may be later.

The house was further modernized in the 18th century, but no occupiers are known before the 1840s when an attorney, Thomas Mann, lived here. Mann was followed by the stonemason Thomas Clark (1850s–70s), and by the retired drapers John Secker (1870s) and Alfred Parsons (1890s–1910s). The decorative finials on the dormers look late Victorian.

See: N Pevsner, Buildings of England: Oxfordshire (1974), 521

Content generated during research for the paperback book 'Burford: Buildings and People in a Cotswold Town' (ISBN 13 : 9781860774881) for the England's Past for Everyone series

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