‘Take action to stop former Priory pub falling into ruin’

thisisoxfordshire: Gillian Argyle, from Oxford Civic Society, at the disused former Priory pub Gillian Argyle, from Oxford Civic Society, at the disused former Priory pub

OXFORD City Council is being urged to take action to prevent the former match-day pub for Oxford United fans from falling into ruin.

The council has been urged to intervene in the case of The Priory pub in Littlemore, which it owns.

Both Oxford Civic Society and English Heritage have said they are worried about the Grade II*-listed building near the Kassam Stadium which is still empty after its landlord claimed he was told to leave last June.

There are worries that vandals and vagrants are targeting the site.

Now the civic society has written to the city council urging it to take action to protect the building.

Gillian Argyle, a trustee of the civic society, said: “This Grade II* building is in the most forlorn state.

“There is evidence of vagrants living at the back, by the remaining about-to-collapse outbuildings, and of a recent fire. Amongst the mess, this most remarkable and historic building stands, still dignified even with its boarded-up windows, the garden plants grown by past generations of tenants beginning to push up and flower.

“It is an absolute disgrace that this important listed building is being so damagingly neglected.”

The building in Grenoble Road is listed by English Heritage as Minchery Farmhouse and – along with the adjoining land – is owned by the city council but on a 99-year lease to Firoka, the company which owns the Kassam Stadium. The lease has about 50 years left to run.

Related links

Landlord Tim Rackley said Firoka owner Firoz Kassam closed the pub in June because of mounting debts. Since then, the pub has been empty and has been a target for vandals, with almost all the windows smashed.

In addition, a small fire – believed to have been started deliberately – broke out last year.

Debbie Hickman, a spokeswoman for English Heritage, said: “Minchery Farm is known to us as a potential heritage asset at risk, and we shall be discussing its future with the city council, the owner.

“This will involve establishing what uses are suitable and urging the building’s repair in line with the council’s own policies on listed buildings.”

Mark Sennett, chairman of United supporters’ group OxVox, said he had not heard of any plans to reopen the pub. He said: “It was a popular watering hole for many fans, much missed by many, and it is very sad to see it not being used and in a pretty poor state.”

City council spokeswoman Louisa Dean said: “The lease is now with Firoka Limited and we have been in contact with them regarding the condition of the property.

“Under the terms of the lease, the tenant is fully responsible for keeping the property in good repair and we remain in contact with the tenant to ensure all necessary works are carried out as required under the lease.”

Firoz Kassam did not return the Oxford Mail’s call.

The Priory is more than 600 years old, having been built in the mid-1400s as a rebuild of part of Littlemore Priory, a nunnery founded in 1110. It was converted into a farmhouse in 1600, about 70 years after the nunnery was closed by Cardinal Wolsey, with the excuse that the nuns had been criticised for “lewd and immoral behaviour”.

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:33am Tue 4 Mar 14

norton manor says...

Perhaps the Civic Society should also look at the Old Aisle Barn in Dunnocks Way that was supposed to be use as a community asset but has been leased to the Pathway Workshop to store scrap timber and wood
Perhaps the Civic Society should also look at the Old Aisle Barn in Dunnocks Way that was supposed to be use as a community asset but has been leased to the Pathway Workshop to store scrap timber and wood norton manor
  • Score: 1

11:18am Tue 4 Mar 14

GRB says...

Good luck trying to get Firoka/Ka££am to maintain the pub. He won't spend a single penny on it if he can get away with it!
Good luck trying to get Firoka/Ka££am to maintain the pub. He won't spend a single penny on it if he can get away with it! GRB
  • Score: 12

12:04pm Tue 4 Mar 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

its a dump, pull it down..
its a dump, pull it down.. yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: -14

12:33pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Quentin Walker says...

If the property is not being maintained as per the conditions of the lease, then the lease (can be?) should be revoked before it deteriorates further.
If the property is not being maintained as per the conditions of the lease, then the lease (can be?) should be revoked before it deteriorates further. Quentin Walker
  • Score: 13

12:38pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Geoff Roberts says...

Looks like a breach on the part of the leaseholder and neglect on the part of City Council.

This is another of our assets being wasted and neglected. Oxford City Council must act quickly but I think it best to hold on to the land, invest in it and make it work.
Looks like a breach on the part of the leaseholder and neglect on the part of City Council. This is another of our assets being wasted and neglected. Oxford City Council must act quickly but I think it best to hold on to the land, invest in it and make it work. Geoff Roberts
  • Score: 10

2:22pm Tue 4 Mar 14

William Stroudley, Sandford on Thames says...

yabbadabbadoo256 wrote:
its a dump, pull it down..
What an idiotic post from an idiotic poster. Its a grade 2 * listed building of historical interest so cannot be pulled down.
[quote][p][bold]yabbadabbadoo256[/bold] wrote: its a dump, pull it down..[/p][/quote]What an idiotic post from an idiotic poster. Its a grade 2 * listed building of historical interest so cannot be pulled down. William Stroudley, Sandford on Thames
  • Score: 15

2:43pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Last time I drove past the roof (on the opposite side to that pictured) had developed a distinct sag where the buildings join.

Perhaps the only way it can be saved now would be if Tesco or McDonald's acquire the lease.

I doubt if many people in Greater Leys, Science Park or Park homes would object to a Tesco Metro and free ATM there.
Last time I drove past the roof (on the opposite side to that pictured) had developed a distinct sag where the buildings join. Perhaps the only way it can be saved now would be if Tesco or McDonald's acquire the lease. I doubt if many people in Greater Leys, Science Park or Park homes would object to a Tesco Metro and free ATM there. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 3

2:46pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Inkpot says...

Agree with GRB..........Kassam won't even spend any money at the Stadium, so he certainly won't spend any on the Priory.

The council need to rescind the lease and take it back under their control, and at least fence it off for protection.
Agree with GRB..........Kassam won't even spend any money at the Stadium, so he certainly won't spend any on the Priory. The council need to rescind the lease and take it back under their control, and at least fence it off for protection. Inkpot
  • Score: 12

6:11pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Geoff Roberts says...

Actually, Andrew has a point. What the people of Oxford need is yet another loss leader mini supermarket and a cash point. Clearly the land would be better off in the hands of an already bloated private company which will provide cheap(er) goods to poor people by not paying suppliers enough and sourcing produce from places with even poorer people who are prepared to work for next to nothing.

Alternatively we could sell it to McDonalds. Everyone loves burgers. Then people could go drive to the new swimming pool to spend more money on burning off the calories from the burgers.
Actually, Andrew has a point. What the people of Oxford need is yet another loss leader mini supermarket and a cash point. Clearly the land would be better off in the hands of an already bloated private company which will provide cheap(er) goods to poor people by not paying suppliers enough and sourcing produce from places with even poorer people who are prepared to work for next to nothing. Alternatively we could sell it to McDonalds. Everyone loves burgers. Then people could go drive to the new swimming pool to spend more money on burning off the calories from the burgers. Geoff Roberts
  • Score: 3

2:28pm Wed 5 Mar 14

downsview says...

No what should happen is that Kassam spends some money on the building as a responsible owner should. If he doesn't I'd hope to see councillors civic leaders and MP's chasing the money grabbing tw@t's tail so that the stinking robber capitalist FOXTROT OSCAR. romeo romeo pdq!
No what should happen is that Kassam spends some money on the building as a responsible owner should. If he doesn't I'd hope to see councillors civic leaders and MP's chasing the money grabbing tw@t's tail so that the stinking robber capitalist FOXTROT OSCAR. romeo romeo pdq! downsview
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree