Manor Grove

Manor Grove street sign

This Thirties development was probably named after the Manor Farm as the land on which it is built was, until the sale part of the Kennington Estate in 1913, part of the farm.
The farm house at this time was the Manor House which had been built in 1629 by Oliver Smith and Henry Bosworth, brewers of Oxford, for their children John Smith and Elizabeth Bosworth following their earlier marriage in St. Aldate’s Church in 1627. John Smith was an alderman of Oxford City, elected Mayor in 1639.
In 1640, he became a member of the Long Parliament and was removed from the Council in 1649, probably because of his royalist sympathies. He died in 1657, but his wife Elizabeth lived on until 1673. One can only imagine just how difficult it must have been for a royalist living here during the Civil War, with the Royal Courts at Christ Church and Merton and large detachments of the Parliamentary Troops camped on the meadows in between.
The last member of the Smith family to own the Manor Farm Estate was Henry Smith, a Canon at Christ Church, whose name appears on the bell, Great Tom, recast in 1680. It is probable that by 1809, when Sir George Bower of Radley bought the Estate, the Mundy family were already tenants of the Farm which they were to run for more than 100 years.

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