AN ENTIRE Oxford Street was demolished in 1966, quite literally.

This was Cambridge Street, part of the old St Ebbes district between St Aldates and Castle Street.

Most of the neighbourhood was demolished in those years to make way for the new Westgate shopping centre, but in 1966 houses on Cambridge Street were bulldozed for a different reason – to make way for the city's new magistrates' court.

The Oxford Mail reported at the time that the new judicial building was set to cost £200,000 – cheaper than many houses in the city centre today.

However the project was not as simple as knocking down one set of buildings and putting up another: as we reported in June that year, a team of archaeologists was also taking the opportunity to survey the land beneath to find the site of a 13th century Dominican friary.

The friary had been demolished soon after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538 and only its legacy remained.

Luckily, the archaeologists found what they were looking for, and a different team found even more when that Westgate Centre was demolished in 2016 to make way for the one that we have today.