Origins of Divinity and Southfield Roads in 19th century

views-of-divinity-road-015Oxford … once had its Divinity Walk, which branched off from Cheney Lane (or the old London Road) towards Shotover. There was a traditional story of its being haunted by the ghost of a young girl killed and buried there by an Academic.   G. V. Cox, Recollections of Oxford, p. 96:

The Rev. O. Ogle inquired whether the path by the side of the New Workhouse, known as Divinity Walk, belonged to the Guardians. The Chairman said it did, and that the Board had made a ditch on one side of it, besides repairing the walk. Mr.Ogle said, some weeks ago the Warden of New College complained of the state of the walk, and there was every possibility of its becoming impassable in the course of a week or two. Ald. Browning said that the Board had nothing to do with the repair of the walk.  Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 29 August 1863

IN CHANCERY
And in the Matter of a Farm, commonly called “The Southfield Farm” situate in the parish of Headington, now in the occupation of Thomas Edmund Miller, containing in the whole two hundred and two acres and two roods (or thereabouts), and consisting of a Dwelling House and Garden, and divers Closes and Premises, commonly known as “Seed Croll”, “Asylum Furlong,” “Wheat Piece,”, “Divinity Walk,” “Furlong over Bridge,” with two Cottages and Gardens, Moors and Sheep Walk, Lower Furlong, Upper Furlong, Croll near Cowley Marsh, Middle Croll, Grass and Orchard.  Jackson’s Oxford Journal
12 April 1873

See Divinity Walk named on the large OS maps of Headington and Cowley Road area (it straddles the maps).

On 28 July 1883 there is an advertisement for the newly built family residence “Southfield House” and the adjoining Southfield Farm, now reduced to 194 acres from the 202 acres of 1873.

In 1886 Jackson’s Oxford Journal records that the unemployed are given the project of repairing Divinity Lane.   Jackson’s Oxford Journal,  March 1891

PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS COMMITTEE
Your Committee submit a preliminary plan of four roads proposed to be laid out by the Oxford Industrial and Benefit Land and Building Society on land on the north side of Cowley-road and east side of Divinity-walk, the said roads to be named respectively Divinity-road, Bartlemas-road, Southfield-road, and Warneford-road.  It is suggested that Divinity-walk be closed, and that Divinity-road take its place, and that a connecting footpath 37 yards in length by six feet wide be made in the north-western corner of the estate.