Rooftops circa 1880 - 1890
Photograph of rooftops in the centre of the village, possibly taken from a window of Wheatley House, at a time when there were only four buildings along the north side of Church Road east of the Parish Church before Friday Lane, circa 1880 - 1890. However, the 1910 map shows only 3 plots with houses on it, so the interpretation of the rooftop photo may be incorrect with only two houses on the north side of Church Road visible, numbers 45 and 47 Church Road (the two similar looking ones with 'white' roofs, while 49 church Road (set back) was not visible
45 Church Road is now called Iliffe House after William Iliffe Pike who lived here, as evidenced by the 1910 valuation survey. The URC suffered a severe loss in 1915 by the death of its beloved and devoted Church Secretary, Iliffe Pike, who had given the site for the schoolroom adjacent to the URC. He bequeathed his house (called ’’Iliffe Cottage”) to the Church to be used as a Manse for the Minister. By the terms of his Will, the property was entrusted to 9 Trustees - 5 appointed by himself, 5 by the County Union, and 5 from Church members. The plaque to the right of the Organ in the present Church interior testifies to his faithful service and to the high esteem in which he was held by his friends.
In 1896. He owned the lean-to cottage property on the side of the URC chapel and gave it to the congregation for a building site. The problem was, what to build? The congregation wanted a new Sunday Schoolroom; the friends at Oxford on whom Wheatley depended financially wanted a new Chapel and the old one converted into a schoolroom. The Schoolroom foundation stone was laid in Sept 1898. The weekday cottage prayer meetings revived and a Gospel Mission was held in 1913, the year Mr Pike died. William Iliffe Pike left his house on Church Road, (Iliffe Cottage, now No. 45) as a minister’s house (Manse) and had already given the property he owned for the Chapel school room. (the Manse House was sold in 1924, when the Chapel was under joint ministry with Cowley. (see Record 1628 for more details of the history of the URC).
A photo of 47 Church Road is attached