Category Archives: archictecture

Blocked up Abingdon windows – part 1

The Window Tax was a tax on the value of a property. The tax could be assessed without intruding on the house owner’s privacy by going inside.

As a consequence of the tax, people blocked up windows, and built houses with fewer windows. It was repealed in 1851. (Fewer windows were a health and safety problem.)

The blocked up Abingdon windows, pictured here, were probably not blocked up to avoid the Window Tax, unless you know better.

It could be that internal alterations made the windows no longer necessary.

It could be that the space inside is being used for storage or that privacy is needed.

They could be an architectural feature – for classical symmetry

If you know buildings, in Abingdon, where windows are blocked up to avoid the Window Tax then I will do a part 2.

Hobbs and Kempster

Hobbs and Kempster
This is Hobbs Close in Abingdon.
Hobbs and Kempster
And here is the view looking down Hobbs Close towards Audlett Drive with the trees that shield Abingdon Science Park behind.
Hobbs and Kempster
The adjoining road is called Kempster Close. What connects ‘Hobbs’ and ‘Kempster’ apart from the path between the two closes?

The Albert Park is like an unspoiled version of Victorian North Oxford

Albert Park
Kali is approaching twelve years old, but still has a lot of energy and walks many miles each day around Abingdon and frequently visits the Albert Park in Abingdon. It is a favourite walk for many dog walkers who walk round the path or gather on the grass to let the dogs play together.
Albert Park
A talk is to be given about the history of Albert Park at lunchtime by Jackie Smith which will cover a great deal more than dogs.
Albert Park
The park is similar to the tree lined walks in the University Park in Oxford.
Albert Park
The houses themselves would fit in very nicely into Norham Gardens, alongside the University Park. But whereas the large Victorian houses either side of Norham Gardens have been spoilt by over-development, and in some cases rebuilt, those round the Albert Park look much as they did when built from the 1860s.
Albert Park
Jackie could well mention that the house above was built with a tower so that it was taller than all of the neighbours.
Albert Park
If you cannot make the talk, and are interested to find out more, then visit The Christ Hospital of Abingdon site where Jackie wrote about the park in 2010.

2014 Oxford Preservation Trust Awards – 1-3 Ock Street

Conservation Awards
1-3 Ock Street was recognised in the Building Conservation category at the 2014 Oxford Preservation Trust Awards. The awards panel commented on the “sensitive and sympathetic restoration … the marrying of the old and the new … the innovative use of glass, and … providing offices that cannot fail but to impress“.
Conservation Awards
The Oxford Preservation Trust Awards, now in their 37th year, recognise conservation and improvements in buildings in Oxford. That is often for Oxford University Buildings. But they do look further afield, and Abingdon Museum was also a beneficiary in 2012.

Thanks to Chris for letting me know, and for the pictures.