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Belsyre Court, Oxford

Description: Belsyre Court

Grade: II
Date Listed: 7 October 2008
English Heritage Building ID: 493661

OS Grid Reference: SP5091207318
OS Grid Coordinates: 450912, 207318
Latitude/Longitude: 51.7622, -1.2637

Location: St Bernard's Road, Oxford OX2 6JE

Locality: Oxford
Local Authority: Oxford City Council
County: Oxfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: OX2 6JE

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Listing Text

612/0/10121 WOODSTOCK ROAD
07-OCT-08 57
Belsyre Court

BUILDING: Apartment block with shopping parade and former offices.

DATE: 1936

ARCHITECT: Ernest R. Barrow.

MATERIALS: Red brick in English bond; artificial stone dressings; colourwashed render colonnade; slate roofs.

PLAN: U-plan overall.

FAƇADE: Jacobethan U-plan block of apartments, with courtyard opening onto Observatory Street; classical colonnade to Woodstock Road, providing covered way in front of shops, curving in to centre on shallow crescent plan.
Apartment block has 4 storeys, attic and semi-basement. Courtyard elevations have artificial stone cornice with carved fleurons at 3rd-floor sill level, and gables over canted bays with cornicing and brattished parapets. Artificial stone mullion windows with metal casements and tile vents above. North and west ranges have 3 tiers of balconies between bays, with heavily turned wooden balustrading, built-in terracotta planting boxes, and plate-glass doors behind in wide artificial stone Tudor arches. Similar canted balconies project to end of west range. Main entrances also in Tudor arches, with plate glass double doors and curving handles. Plainer east range with bays on corbels, end to Observatory Street with classical arched doorway terminating return of colonnade. Brick walls and piers to courtyard, with artificial stone coping, caps and Tudor doorway. Artificial stone balustrading, with ball finials, to steps down into court.
Angled gable and bay turn corner into east front, facing Woodstock Road. This has similar apartments above Tuscan colonnade with single triglyphs over the columns, the end bays in antis. Curving shopfronts behind preserve much original woodwork, including plain base panels and frieze with plain paterae over panelled pilasters. Two shops preserve original varnished finish. Plate glazing with top lights. Minor alterations to entrances of individual shops.

INTERIORS: Not seen.

HISTORY: Running almost parallel to the Banbury Road, the Woodstock Road serves as a second arterial route through the North Oxford Conservation Area and provides a major public access. The varied types of building reflect the spread of the suburb northwards, and the changing tastes in architecture from the Regency period onwards.

SOURCES: Anne Spokes Symonds, The Changing Faces of North Oxford Book 2 (1999), 34.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: Belsyre Court, is a prominent block of apartments of 1936 in Jacobethan style incorporating a shopping parade with classical Tuscan colonnade fronting the Woodstock Road. It is of special interest, especially locally, as a large block, adopting the Jacobethan style and a courtyard plan, and achieving accurate period detail with high quality artificial stone and metal casements. The building also provides a parade of small shops. These have a grand Tuscan colonnade, on a shallow crescent plan, which serves as a major focal point on Woodstock Road. Recommended to be added to the list at Grade II.

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.