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Witney Street (south): Nos 24 and 26 (Royal Oak):former White Hart Inn

These now separate buildings were formerly the White Hart Inn, said to have been built and opened around 1615 by Richard Merywether. No. 24 retains medieval roof timbers, however, possibly from a building on this site. The inn was still in business in 1642 when it featured in a Civil War skirmish, but had closed ten years later when Walwin Hopton occupied it. In 1685 the tenant was John Loder, gent, and the combined building continued as a gentleman's residence into the 18th century. Before the 1780s it was reopened as the Royal Oak, which remained in business in the range's eastern part (now No. 26) in 2007. Some 19th-century licensees combined it with other trades, George Pratley (1850s–60s), for instance, working as a carpenter, while his wife ran the pub. The building was remodelled in the early 19th century, the date of the present windows.

No. 24 (now Consitt House) may have been part of the inn until the 1850s, and grafitti near its rear doorway confirms its connection with James Strafford, landlord in the 1770s–80s. By 1861 it was apparently a separate house, occupied successively by a tea dealer and, in the 1870s–80s, by a tailor and a brewer's labourer. In the 1910s it was owned by the Burford brewers Garne and Sons. Its front was formerly rendered, as shown by 'pecking' around the right-hand ground-floor window; removal of the render has left the windows standing forward from the wall. The window-frames themselves could be mid 18th-century, that at bottom right replacing an earlier wider one, while the doorcase (with its slightly later door) was added c.1800. The house's four heated rooms probably all formed part of the inn's accommodation.

(Photo by Richard Shaw, Oxfordshire Buildings Record)

See: Listed Building Description; R Moody, The Inns of Burford (2007), 100–2; RH Gretton, The Burford Records (1920), 447, 456; Oxfordshire Record Office, QSD V/2–3

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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