Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cowley Road, Oxford


The last, for the moment, of my selection of Oxford's less well known buildings is the Elm Tree pub in East Oxford's Cowley Road. For me, this is an example of the way, when walking around a city, a previously unnoticed building can suddenly catch the eye. I don't know anything about this building. Most of its features – the low-sweeping roof, fancy dormer window, curved canopy above the door, the long band of stone-framed windows, the tall chimneys, and so on – testify to the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement of the late-19th century. The lettering above the door is pretty self-consciously crafty too – reminiscent in fact of the kind of letter forms often seen on the covers of Victorian children's books, the ancestors of The Dangerous Book for Boys. Perhaps someone out there knows the history of this pub, the penultimate stop before the Ultimate Picture Palace next door.

7 comments:

Peter Ashley said...

Never mind about all that, what's the beer and how much did you put down of it?

Neil said...

My favourite pub on the Cowley road was in a basement down a dingy flight of steps - the pub sign proudly conveyed both the name and the atmosphere of the establishment - The Rat Hole.

Diplomat said...

Philip - very good to have a catch-up with your latest postings. Love the A&C no-nonsense aproach here. Have you checked out the window casements, catches and stays at Drogoe ?

Diplomat said...

ooh - also, can't make out from your pic what's going on - but - next time you're passing could you remove those shocking bits of "sunday-trip-to-the-g'centre" trellis panels. Thanks

Philip Wilkinson said...

Diplomat - thanks for your appreciative comments. The trellis panels look a bit like headboards for twin beds. Perhaps we should get the local cheap 'n' cheerful bed centre to take them away.

pomona said...

Hi do you have any larger photographs? Some philistine has chipped off 'The Elm Tree' typography carved in store above the door, and it would be good if someone had a record of it.

Philip Wilkinson said...

I only took the one shot of this place as I walked by – but I do have it in a higher resolution than the version shown here.