3 Stert Street
This house stands on the east side of the street and next door but one to St Nicolas’ Church. It is a double-fronted, timber-framed building dating from about 1470.
The house was built by Abingdon Abbey on land it owned running north from St Nicolas’ between the Abbey wall and the River Stert. The Stert, which flows from north to south, is now in a culvert under the pavement outside the house.
When the building was renovated in the twentieth century, the original overhanging jetty at the front was restored and an extension was added to the back of the old house, making it a hybrid of some historical interest.
At the same time the remains of a wall painting of geometric design were discovered in the north bedroom on the first floor. They can still be seen faintly on the timbers.
For much of its later history the building was a public house, variously called the Golden Cross and the Butchers’ Arms. After the Abbey was dissolved in the sixteenth century, the freehold belonged first to the Crown and then to the Borough Council, until it passed into private ownership in the mid-nineteenth century. The 1921 photograph (above) was taken after it ceased to be a pub; the group in the doorway are members of the Lewis and Higgs families.
It is a private house and not open to the public.
See Glossary for explanations of technical terms.
© AAAHS and contributors 2013