From 1937 to 2008, 54 Ock Street and the subsidiary buildings behind it housed the printing works of Leach’s the Printers. Before that, from 1901, it was the ‘Brooklyn Works’, making mineral waters, sweets and toffee, especially ‘Barnett’s Lemon Drops’ which were local favourites.
From 1675 until 1859 or later, the sites of Nos. 52 and 54 Ock Street were invariably held by the same lessee, although No. 52 was owned by the charity of Christ’s Hospital and No. 54 by the Abingdon Corporation (town council). The tenants included the clockmaker and borough chamberlain Joseph Norris, and a wealthy bachelor, George Hawkins, who indulged his intellectual interests with books and a large collection of scientific instruments.
The present building at No. 54 is of brick, with stone lintels to the front door and ground-floor windows. When it was erected is unknown, but it was certainly occupied by George Hawkins at his death in 1820. It was then acquired by William Faulkner who added the outbuildings and turned it into an industrial site.
See Glossary for explanations of technical terms.
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