Ship Street Oxford

Ship street lies north of Jesus College and west of Exeter College, two of Oxford University’s historic colleges. To the south, at the western end is the Junior Common Room and to the eastern end is the Principal’s (private) garden of Jesus College. At the western end is the historic St Michael at the Northgate church near the site of the original north gate in the city wall. Originally Oxford’s wall ran just to the north of Ship Street.

At the eastern end is the QI Building, a member’s club, bookshop and café associated with the comedic quiz show QI television series on BBC2, and established by the comedy producer John Lloyd. The entrance to the building was in Turl Street.

To the west is the major shopping street, Cornmarket Street, with St Michael’s Street opposite, and to the east is the Turl. Market Street runs parallel with Ship Street to the south and Broad Street runs similarly to the north.


The street has had a number of names.It was known as Dewy’s Lane in the 13th century, after a family who lived there. Its name was Somenor’s Lane in 1385. Lawrence Hall was at the east end of the street and it was known by this name for a time. Lawrence Hall was located on the south side of the street, 30–40 yards from Turl Street.The name of “Ship Street” was used from about 1762, after an alehouse in the street. At one time, there was a sheep market in the street and its name is a possible corruption of this. The street used to be much longer than it is today, running east through Catte Street to the city wall. at Eastgate.

St Anne’s College, when it was still known as the Society for Home Students, had its first common room in Ship Street.The annual magazine for alumnae and alumni of the college is known as The Ship.

There are still many 16th to early 18th century houses in the street that are Grade II listed buildings.

4 thoughts on “Ship Street Oxford

  1. Such an iconic Oxford scene! Isn’t it fascinating how using black and white for a shot like that really does make it timeless? Until you look closely at the van and the boys’ attire, your brain places it back in the forties, or fifties. Lovely:)

      • I do too,l though I don’t think I have the discipline to use it! I tried once to create a white garden, like Vita Sackville West did at Sissinghurst and I think it stayed white for less than six months!

        Along with the sunshine, I think I’ve got colour in my veins …

        • I must have somehow missed this Gene, so sorry for my tardiness of reply 😦

          I think I see in Black and White, I usually have two cameras around my neck one digital (but often set up in Monochrome) and one loaded with film, most often Black and White film. I have to force myself to use colour on the digital in order to gain the vibrance and beauty to colour brings to life…:)



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