Industrial buildings

Morrell's Lion Brewery chimney, St Thomas, 1901“A poor place for the industrial population”:
Victorian and Edwardian industrial buildings of Oxford

Oxford is rarely thought of as an ‘industrial’ city in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras though in fact a number of interesting examples of such buildings from this period exist. As Oxford’s population grew rapidly in the latter part of the nineteenth century, fuelled by the expansion of the university, demand for gas, electricity, clean water and consumer goods increased and buildings associated with public utilities and with a variety of light industries appeared throughout the city. The seeds of Oxford’s development as a major industrial centre were sown at the end of the period with the establishment of Morris’ motor garage in Longwall Street in which the first bull-nose Morris was assembled in 1912.

This talk looks at the history of the buildings that remind us of Oxford’s Victorian and Edwardian industrial heritage, a surprising number of which still survive. The buildings are examined as examples of their type and as part of the development of Oxford during a period of great economic, social and technological change.

“What a great talk; from the reaction of members and comments afterwards, it was of great interest and pitched at exactly the right level of detail.” David Price, City of Oxford Society of Model Engineers, February 2014.

Contact me on 01865 242760 or to book this talk.

A guided walk on this topic is also available.

Back to illustrated talks main page