The Online History Archive is gradually being made available and already contains a range of fascinating material on Oxton. The latest addition is the story of William Potter, a 19th century merchant, who was responsible for building many of Oxton’s grand houses and the speculative erection of the then non-denominational Christchurch – It was also thought that the erection of the large church near the centre of Oxton  served to attract buyers for the properties that he was planning to build in the prosperous and burgeoning Oxton area. For no one would move to an area which lacked a suitable place for worship. And the spire could be seen as a beckoning beacon for miles around. He was after all a business man as well as a philanthropist.

Also recently added to the archive is Oxton Residents in the mid 1800s – Oxton was a surprisingly mixed community even as early as 1841. The Tithe map of 1847 shows only around 110 to 120 dwellings but living in these dwellings we find listed in the Census of 1841 as many as 40 occupational groups.  These were the days before the great building boom of rich merchants’ houses, so there were few residents that fitted this description and similarly few people working in “the professions”.

 

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