C18 Headington by Malchair

The Strange Tale of the German who saved Old Oxford and the “Poor Village” of Headington, his pupils, a musical prodigy and the birth of modern art


Important Copyright Notice
Dramatis Personae – John Malchair and Dr W. Crotch
Setting The Scene
The Sketches
Location Reference Maps And Images
 Headington Village – Houses And Walls
Headington – Mr Pearson’s House – “Little Blenheim”
Headington Quarry And The Windmill
Headington Hill And Cuckoo Lane
Barton, The Wick and Podzies Pond
Elsfield- The View to Oxford and the Church
Shotover – The View to Oxford
List Of Images
This Article : http://bit.ly/1fFW2ng


“Deformity in nature is accidental, Man chiefly contributes toward producing it in landscape.  If the earth was not infinitely too vast for his conceits the form of it would be spoiled ages ago by his tastelessness and foolish operations.  It is as well that all he can possibly do amounts to no more than scratching the mighty globe with a pin.

The objects in nature are never inelegant unless restrained by the hand of man or other violence.”

(Malchair 1791 p56) (See appendix for below in Malchair’s own hand )

These drawings and watercolours are probably all by artists of the Oxford School or the “Grand School” as it was jokingly known, some by the first president (PGS), John Malchair  , and a then young musical prodigy, William Crotch, who ‘passed on the old man’s [Malchair’s] theories to someone that could put them to best advantage –  John Constable’ who he first met in 1806. (Harrison, Colin, Wollenberg, Susan, Munby 1998,p.94)

They are valuable both as early examples of British landscape drawing, and as the earliest known views of Headington and other villages on the cusp of major change.

‘The Appearance of Oxford from Shotover Hill in Floodtime From Recollection’ , by Malchair and ‘Jones’s the Stonecutter’s at Headington Quarry’ by a young William Crotch are outstanding works of art, the latter representing to this author a work of, albeit unrecognised, genius approaching the poignancy of the ’The Fighting Temeraire’ by Turner (1839)

Important Copyright Notice

The images used are under copyright and may NOT be reproduced without permission of the copyright holders identified in the captions.

Text in this article is licenced under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA ( http://bit.ly/YLfYPW )

Dramatis Personae – John Malchair and Dr W. Crotch

Oxford owes a great debt of gratitude to German born John Malchair (bap. 1730, d. 1812) [(Healey Oct 2006), and it most regrettable he appears to yet languish mostly in obscurity. [fn2]

Better known as a folksong collector, violinist and band leader at the Oxford, later the Holywell Music Room, his most enduring legacy is hundreds of sketches and water colours, many of which provide unique records of Oxford’s medieval past on the very eve of its destruction following the passing of the Mileways Act of 1771 which spurred him to action. (Harrison, Colin, Wollenberg, Susan, Munby 1998, p16)

He frequently concentrated on landscapes and the ordinary, well before it was fashionable to do so, even when painting well known buildings they were ‘between trees or from an odd angle as elements in the picture. More often he sketches some picturesque corner without architectural pretension or extrinsic interest, a shed or a hovel’  

It is just because his subjects were not regarded as worthy of preservation nor even of record by others that so many of his drawings have acquired their topographic value’ (Oppé 1943,p.192-193)

He is considered to have, ‘through Crotch, influenced later English landscape painters, including John Constable.’ who revived landscape painting, leading to, eventually, the Impressionist movement. (Healey Oct 2006)

In the 18th century hierarchy of subject matter, landscape was nearly the lowest type of painting’(Ropeik, Couch ) but Malchair ‘cannot fail to have had a great part in preparing for the change which came over English painting precisely at the moment when ” darkness fell upon him ” and he could no longer see it.’ (Oppé 1943,p.197)

A picture emerges of a very kind, sensitive man, deeply loved by all that knew him.  In an age of a vertical relationship between adults and children he showed remarkable sensitivity to their needs:

“False critics and pretending judges are very apt to dishearten the tender beginner …they use the language of the artist to convey ignorance but their frequent misapplication of terms will draw the veil and expose them to those who are not totally unacquainted with the subject and too modest to talk much about it.”

“He must also be very patient and careful not to tire the young one but leave off before a surfeit comes on. He must at times confess that the task is rather difficult, for nothing is so humiliating to a learner as the masters telling him that the very thing he cannot do is extremely easy.”

His work is welcome relief from the conga line of Radcliffe Camera’s, Christchurch Cathedrals and unending stream of tired colleges the researcher is fated to endure.

It was Malchair’s custom to conduct his pupils on sketching walks in the rural surrounds of the Oxford , where drawings were whimsically named ‘Porck Griskin to Headington’,  ‘A Ramble a duo about Headington’ and ‘Bacon and Eggs expedition Beckley ’ etc (Minn 1943) as part of the activities of the “Oxford School” or “Great School” of artists as they dubbed it. (Harrison, Colin, Wollenberg, Susan, Munby 1998)

By 1798, Malchair was in failing health and gradually going blind, but it appears Crotch and other pupils continued the tradition. 

In 1797 in his late sixties, he met the 22 year old Crotch – a musical child prodigy who played before George III at three, moved to Oxford in 1788, and rose to be Professor of Music at only 21, as a composer his most famous work is the oratorio “Palestine.”

Crotch was ‘enthusiastic admirer both of his music and his drawings, but also and, perhaps more significant, as ” Artist, Companion and Friend”‘ (Oppé 1943,p.192)

Malchair was subject of a major exhibition of his work in 1998 (Harrison, Colin, Wollenberg, Susan, Munby 1998), his sketches and paintings of long gone parts of Oxford such as the North Gate appearing in tourist literature.  Crotch artistic accomplishments were noted at time, an exhibition was held in 1964. (Crotch 1964)

Setting The Scene

In the mid to late eighteenth century Headington was a small, poor rural village poorly connected to Oxford via muddy tracks and footpaths on the cusp of major change.  Within a few short years, the impact of the industrial revolution, population growth and the accompanying social changes would sweep much away.

The opening of the Stokenchurch turnpike over Headington Hill (London Road)  in 1775 (Bloxham 1996 p.63) suddenly rendered Headington a desirable and accessible location away from the growing pollution of the city below.

The “Champion” medieval landscape of the last open common fields that had existed before the Norman Conquest, were to be enclosed by 1809 Enclosure Award, finally laying to rest the Manor of Headington as an entity that had endured, in one form or another, for approximately a 1000 years, transformed the landscape from common land to private freehold property and determining legal rights of way.

At a stroke, the fortunate few that became freeholders and, within a short time after, the housing of the great Victorian era would appear.

The “Headington Villas” of the Rookery, Headington House, and Bury Knowle House would shortly be built, largely by the nouveaux riches of the new order, sequestering common land behind high walls, (Walker 2007)even so far as to deny mourners from Headington Quarry access to St Andrews Church.   Regardless of the moral dimension, clarity of landownership and of rights of way permitted capital investment and growth.

The Sketches

The Malchair style and influence is clear.  Unusually, and most refreshingly , rather than concentrating on the church and the village core, the sketches are of ordinary things, Mr Pearson’s, “Little Blenheim,” barns, ponds, and of course, Headington’s leitmotif, walls.

We see a poor rural community of thatched cottages, with raised footways above muddy lanes with some early larger houses, early examples of the villas of Headington.

The works by an unknown artist (c475 except f.95) [fn3] appear to be copies of work done in 1798/99, possibly by Crotch, the copyist visiting each scene between 1803 and 1806.

On c474_f.97 (not shown) he (or she) remarks :

Sr Bank’s Hedge, Heddington, near Oxford 1798, 1802 no more! strange alteration in this poor village

noting the position of Mr Jackson’s Headington House (probably the proprietor of Jackson’s Oxford Journal)

Location Reference Maps And Instructions

Some maps below have an underlay of the first 1876 OS map with google images map superimposed which not exact, mainly due to fisheye lens distortion.

I have indicated where some of drawings may have been, with varying degrees of certainty.

Many images are “galleries” click on the first image and click on the large arrows that should appear to the left and right of the image to go to the next. It may take some seconds to load.  Press escape to exit or click the top left X on the screen.  View full size by clicking again, or view full size on right bottom.  Resolution is low to speed loading. 

Where useful, sketches are presented in picture only, page, and photo of current location.

Headington Village – Houses And Walls


Location Map – WA1925.26 A View Of Headington

www.headingtonheritage.org.uk Old Headington Copyright: Ashmolean Museum, The University of xford. Shelfmark: WA1925_26

A View Of Headington 19 May 1773
J. Malchair
Old Headington
Copyright: Ashmolean Museum, The University of Oxford WA1925.26 All rights reserved

In WA1925.26, “A View Of Headington”, the sun is shown at 60 degrees on the 19 May 1773, so it is midday as the maximum elevation that day was approximately 58 degrees, therefore the observer is looking to the NWW or 285 degrees, with the tree shadows pointing due north.

 In the foreground to the right is a work shed with a gravestone and chopped logs immediately in front of the viewer.  This may be on the site of Croft Hall where gravestones are embedded in the wall.

A lady walks along the path that will become approximately the E-W branch of The Croft, while a couple with a dog walk along a track leading to the village core.

There are three paths (PURPLE) converging at the “The Court” (RED – mislabelled) a large existing house with dual end stacks (chimneys) with a pub sign on its left rear eave, beyond, the paths become a track on the modern Croft to Osler Road (Sandy Lane).   To the right, “The Pound House” (GREEN), a large thatched house in an L shape (actually a T see below) is clearly visible, orientated north/south, in contrast to “The Court”. (NWW/SEE)

A stone wall (YELLOW?)  in front runs across the picture in the rear, due north/south, slightly falling down the hill.    There is a strong suggestion of a lane between the wall and houses across the picture (rear) continuing to a tether point just visible to the left of the leftmost of the pair of trees in the foreground, possibly an early version of Osler Road further east, to the Britannia.

Between the “The Court” and “Pound House” it appears land falls away down Headington Hill with trees below in the far background.

Roofs at low level  suggests land falling away to the extreme left rear of the picture, which is difficult to reconcile with land at this point, however this may be an agricultural shelter or cool house of some sort. 

However, the dual, but not matching external chimney stacks, (both now and on the watercolour, and identified as C17 in the HER see appendix), the  sloping  and tamed nature of the landscape, the gravestones near the church, the paths running where people would need to go, and the exactly correct orientation to the sun and houses to each other can leave no other room for doubt. 

Both The Court and The Pound House have been very extensively remodelled, but the chimney stacks of the former (which dictate the slightly asymmetrical pots) are C17 – the T shape of The Pound House may be a survival of its original shape, even if relocated westwards.

The three bedroom “stone built” cottage at “The Court” prior to the current incarnation is shown in a bill of sale from 1914 with the chimney stacks covered, but are the same.  It appears the current form was a mostly successful attempt to bring it back to its original form.

Around the edge of the village (The JR) there is good tree cover, possibly survivals of the ancient royal forest of Shotover.

Within a few years, this landscape would be transformed from a surprisingly clear green sward to the high walls of Headington House (1775, William Jackson of Jackson’s Oxford Journal) to the left following enclosure, and Laurel Farm Close to the right.  

In c475_f.52 a very large house stands with a receding stone wall on what appears to be either the beginnings of a junction to the right, or a widening of the road.  Past the house to the left, the road appears to swing rightwards, or it is a field.  No building of this distinctive shape appears on the enclosure map of 1805.

This may be also “The Pound House” from the west/modern Osler Road side, with the widening representing the modern Croft running past “The Court.”  The Pound House has been extensively remodelled, redesigned, and very possibly relocated – measurements would place it slightly east of its current position.

Two other possible locations are across present day Laurel Close to the east of St Andrew’s House, or Mather’s barn and/or farmhouse.

Crotch apparently (the dates do not match the ONDB biography well) produced one watercolour of Headington in 1832 from “J. Locke’s Terrace” on the site of modern Emden House – implying strongly that Bury Knowle House grounds reached as far back as the top of the current wall to Barton Lane, and the modern Mather’s Farm barn has been rebuilt since.


This appears to show a house similar to that of c475_f.52.

c475f.65 shows a building with a lane going steeply down the hill, with the suggestion of a small courtyard on top of a wall, with a lane going left and a green to the right.   This would appear to show the farm that was on the junction of Osler Road and St Andrews Lane.

c475f.66 is currently unknown –  a flat, wide track narrows and appears to meet a junction to the right.

The wall (c475_f.63) at the entrance to Headington via Barton Lane, although rebuilt, can be exactly matched to the wall line of Emden House and the kink in the 1876 map as shown. 

www.headingtonheritage.org.uk Old Headington Copyright: Corpus Christi College Oxford University 2013, v443 Vol1 f.9 All rights reserved

The Porck Griskin Expedition 23 Mar 1771 at Heddington
J, Malchair
Copyright: By Permission of the President and Fellows of Corpus Christi College 2013, Oxford University, v443 Vol1 f.9

The frequent reports of fires need no further explanation.

Headington – Mr Pearson’s House – “Little Blenheim”

We know little of Mr Pearson, other than he was not a beneficiary of enclosure as “Little Blenheim” was already enclosed as part of the village marked as pink on the 1805 Enclosure Map, and his name does not appear in the Enclosure Award.

www.headingtonheritage.org.uk - J. Malchair, W. Crotch and Headington in 1788

Location Map Headington – For Mr Pearsons House etc
Headington, Oxford in 1798

www.headingheritage.org.uk Old Headington Copyright: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford. Shelfmark: M.S. Top. Oxon .c 475 f.10

View To St Andrew’s Church Past Mr Pearson’s House
Copy of work by W. Crotch or a pupil of J.Malchair Old Headington, Oxford in 1798
Copyright: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford. Shelfmark: M.S. Top. Oxon .c 475 f.10

His house can be closely located as shown approximately where Stoke House is today, due to views of St Andrew’s church (as it was in 1800) [fn4] (c475_f.10), the tracks marked on the 1876 map which correspond approximately to those on c475_f.10, and one building set back from Stoke Place on a hedge with a hedge line to the north on the 1805 enclosure map.  Aerial images show possible footings near to this site.  The view in c475_f.10 is now lost due to housing on the east side of Stoke Place, but a similar view exists from the field immediately to the east.

The cottage, described as north and adjacent to the house, is not shown on the west view in c475_f.11, as it must have been deep in the copse behind.  In c475_f.12, a man with a hat stands outside a house while two others push a wheelbarrow.  There are some houses in Barton in the far distance.  c475_f.88 (not shown) is another view of the church to the east of f.10 described as “from the cottage” the back of which is shown in c475_f.34 below.

In c475_f.29 and f.30 (not shown), the side of barn is shown going to a house with two chimneys with the Bayswater Brook treeline and Elsfield in the distance.  This is locatable by two structures linked by a wall on the 1876 map as shown.

Headington Quarry And The Windmill

www.headingheritage.org.uk W. Crotch Headington Copyright: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford. Shelfmark: M.S. Top. Oxon .c 475 f.12

Jones The Stonecutters, Headington Stone Quarries WC 1st Aug 1799
William Crotch
Headington Quarry
Copyright: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford. Shelfmark: M.S. Top. Oxon .c 475 f.95

www.headingtonheritage.org.uk - J. Malchair, W. Crotch and Headington in 1798, Oxford University, Shelfmark: M.S. Top. Oxon .c 475 f.95

Mr Jones, The Stonecutters, Headington Quarry
W. Crotch
Headington, Oxford in 1798
Copyright: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford. Shelfmark: M.S. Top. Oxon .c 475 f.95

The c475_f95a colour painting is signed “WC” for William Crotch, f95b is a faithful, but not exact, copy, that may assist in determining if all the drawings are copies of works by Crotch.

In “Jones, The Stonecutter’s, Headington Quarries” the viewer looks from the south at one of the Headington quarries, for example Sacky or Horwood’s Pit.(Bloxham 1996, p80-81,89)

The sun rises in the summer morning of Aug 1st of 1799, slightly north of east casting a long shadow behind a lone worker whose house may be in the foreground.

This appears to be stunningly powerful visual metaphor of the industrial revolution.  The supposed new dawn seems to cast menacing long shadows on a shattered, stark and lifeless landscape below. The worker, cast to one side, yet toiling from the earliest hours, is looked down by the rich, sunlit house and idle spectator above – his shadowy house at the base of a pit, contrasting strongly with the well appointed one above, dominating, superior and unattainable.

The young Crotch received his Doctorate in Music from Oxford University in this year.

www.headingtonheritage.org.uk Headington Quarry Shotover Copyright: Ashmolean Museum The University of Oxford WA2004.48 All rights reserved

The Quarries from Shotover Hill
William Crotch
Shotover, Headington Quarry
Copyright: Ashmolean Museum, The University of Oxford WA2004.48 All rights reserved

www.headingtonheritage.org.uk Copyright: Corpus Christi College Oxford University 2013, v443 Vol1 f.13 All rights reserved

A Windmill near Heddington Oxfordshire 18 Apr 1771
Near Headington Oxford
Copyright: By Permission of the President and Fellows of Corpus Christi College 2013, Oxford University, v443 Vol1 f.13

In v443_f13 a very large windmill, as evinced by the size of the sower in the foreground , “near Heddington” stands in fields with a low wooded, dual peaked hill behind to the left, possibly Shotover, near Windmill Lane.

Headington Hill And Cuckoo Lane

V443_f14 shows probably Cuckoo Lane with a man walking  going to Joe Pullen’s tree where it intersects with a predecessor of Pullen’s Lane at a wayside cross (?), at an angle less than 90 degrees as it does today.  

www.headingtonheritage.org.uk Old Headington Copyright: Corpus Christi College Oxford University 2013, v443 Vol1 f.14 All rights reserved

Oxford from Heddington Hill 18 Apr 1771
J. Malchair
Headington (Some image correction applied)
Copyright: By Permission of the President and Fellows of Corpus Christi College 2013, Oxford University, v443 Vol1 f.14

The observer looks from a point north of Cuckoo Lane on rougher, higher ground onto a ploughed field towards Oxford (NWW) rising out of the mist. To the left of the lane in the distance, higher ground veers off to the left (probably the reservoir area), except for a nearer part which appears to drop, it appears a track runs between the higher ground in the foreground, joining the track to Oxford.

The brow of Headington Hill runs either along Cuckoo Lane or the modern London Road, except for the Headington Hill area just before it descends to Oxford, so this is most probably north of Woodlands Road, looking NWW towards Oxford along Cuckoo Lane, it is less likely to be the road prior to the turnpike (1775) which followed approximately the same route as London Road today, due to land rising south.

This may be a view of the very last years of the “Champion” or strip farming method where each copyholder had a strip of land, which still endured in the Midlands at this date, from a large open field (Brockalles Field) (Evans 1928, p1) of the Manor of Headington in its very final years at the very dawn of English landscape painting – if this is the case it is a rare intersection – or it could be simply a ploughed field.

The vista of Oxford is simply impossible, and in reality mostly invisible, therefore, other than the general due west view (note St Mary’s/All Soul’s College/Radcliffe Camera S-N alignment) it should not be taken literally.

The other images are various views of footpaths wending their way down towards Oxford.

Joe Pullens Tree was located in Pullens Lane at the junction of now Cuckoo Lane at the top of Headington Hill.

Barton, The Wick and Podzies Pond

www.headingtonheritage.org.uk - J. Malchair, W. Crotch and Headington in 1788

Location Map Barton Area And Mr Philips House (f.52 alternative only)
Headington, Oxford in 1798

www.headingtonheritage.org.uk Old Headington Copyright: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford. Shelfmark: M.S. Top. Oxon .c 475 f.48

Mr Philips House At Barton – Being the first house you come to from Heddington
Copy of work by W. Crotch or a pupil of J.Malchair Old Headington, Oxford in 1798
Copyright: The Bodleian Libraries, The University of Oxford. Shelfmark: M.S. Top. Oxon .c 475 f.48

c475_f.48, Mr Philips House, is closely locatable by the description, and layout shown on the 1876 map, probably on an area destroyed by the A40



 “The Wick” (WA1925_151) was located slightly north of the Barton village core and south of Bayswater Brook. (Bloxham 1996, p.127)  A small part of Podzies Pond may be shown in this, or it was located in ‘The vale between Heddington and Elsfield’, or the Barton Park development site. (WA1925_91)

Elsfield- The View to Oxford and the Church

Self explanatory.

Shotover – The View to Oxford

Included mainly for its artistic merit and unusual treatment.  WA1925.51, ‘Oxford from Shotover Hill, from Recollection‘, by Malchair, shows the old London Road wending its way down Shotover Hill to Oxford, with a flooded Isis shimmering to the left.


We cannot arrogate Headington to the birthplace of Romanticism or Impressionism, that said, it was the scene of one of many early green shoots of a movement away from painting the great and glorious to fine observation of the God of little things, popularised by Constable some years later via a direct line of artistic succession from Malchair and Crotch. 

It is particularly gratifying for the author to have The Croft honoured as the subject of a very classical Malchair (WA1925.26)

 Malchair, Crotch and the Oxford School of artists did much to save Old Oxford and its surrounding villages in our memory, prior to impending destruction – an act we as a community should honour – but as with Antony Wood, Herbert Hurst, Henry Taunt and other greats who spent a lifetime preserving Oxford’s heritage at least in memory, they rest all but forgotten by a city that destroys its past and blights its future.


Headington Heritage


Follow me on Twitter at : @headingheritage.

 Other Parts Of Oxford

Other parts of Oxford, Central, Marston, Cowley and others have similar resources in the same collections below, contact the author or archives listed for more information


[1] Born in Cologne, Malchair disembarrassed himself of his German name of Johann Baptiste Malscher, he is quite correctly listed as an English artist.

 [2] However his pictures frequently appear in tourist literature, the Ashmolean held and exhibition in 1998.

 [3] The Bodleian catalogue entry which describes them as:

Crotch,( W.) “Drawings of Oxford by him 1807 (?) 1803-1808”.

“copies made in 1803-8 by a pupil of J. Malchair or Dr W. Crotch mostly of Oxford and Headington .. including Woodperry….Barton near Headington …”

[4] The size of the church is incorrectly marked on my location map – it was bigger – see article on Medieval Murals.


The author has no academic status or qualifications in history and no other help has been received, therefore all misinterpretations and erroneous conclusions remain his alone. 


Exceptionally generous support and free or low reproduction licencing costs from the following institutions is very gratefully acknowledged:

Oxford University, Bodleian Libraries

Corpus Christi College, Oxford University

Ashmolean Museum, (Print Room) Oxford University

Norwich Castle, Museum and Art Gallery

Clearly, this help does not imply endorsement of either the article or content of the Headington Heritage web site. 

Also thanks to Museum of English Rural Life, Reading for answering positively the question whether the view of Headington Hill could actually be the Champion system at this late date.

In particular, a staff member of the Print Room at the Ashmolean for her great help, especially for introducing me to Malchair’s book of instructions in his own hand.

Due to prohibitive licencing costs I am unable to show images owned by Oxfordshire History Centre, in particular the Enclosure Award Map which is regrettable.

I am indebted as ever to Stephanie Jenkins’s work in particular for background information on buildings, the modern version of the Headington enclosure award and many, many references too numerous to mention.  Her site may be found at:


All images presented here were independently researched and sourced.


Oxford, Headington Heritage, Dr William Crotch, W. Crotch, J Malchair, Old Headington, Barton, Elsfield, Shotover, Headington Hill, Oxford School, Barton Park, Wick


BLOXHAM, C.G., 1948-, 1996. The changing faces of Headington. Witney: Witney : Robert Boyd Publications.

CROTCH, W., 1775-1847, 1964. Exhibition of fifty drawings & watercolours by Dr William Crotch 1775-1847 : held at] Charterhouse Studio 1964. S.l.: S.l. : s.n.

EVANS, E., 1928. The manor of Headington. Shipston-on-Stour: Shipston-on-Stour : the Kings Stone Press.

HARRISON, COLIN, WOLLENBERG, SUSAN and MUNBY, J., 1998. John Malchair of Oxford : artist and musician. Ashmolean Museum.

HEALEY, T.B., Oct 2006. Malchair, John (bap. 1730, d. 1812). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (22 Nov 2013), pp. [http://ezproxy.ouls.ox.ac.uk:2117/view/article/56011, accessed 22 Nov 2013].

MALCHAIR, J., 1791. Observations on Landskipp, with many and varied examples, intended for the use of beginners, IAshmolean Print Room).

MINN, H., 1943. Drawings by J. B. Malchair in Corpus Christi College. Oxoniensia, 8, pp. 159–68.

OPPÉ, P., 1943. John Baptist Malchair of Oxford. Burlington Magazine, , pp. 191-197.

ROPEIK, R. and  COUCH, P., , Constable’s The Hay Wain [Homepage of Khan Academy], [Online]. Available: http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/constables-the-hay-wain.html2013].

WALKER, R., 2007. Bury Knowle House in Context: its History, Design, and Architecture. Oxoniensia, , pp. 27.




Malchair in his own hand

www.headingtonheritage.org.uk Old Headington Elsfield Copyright: Ashmolean Museum The University of Oxford WA1996.497 f.54 All rights reserved

Observations on Landskipp, with many and varied examples, intended for the use of beginners, 1791, f.54
J. Malchair
Copyright: Ashmolean Museum, The University of Oxford WA1996.497 f.54 All rights reserved

“Reviving Landscape Painting Studying the English painter John Constable is helpful in understanding the changing meaning of nature during the industrial revolution. He is, in fact, largely responsible for reviving the importance of landscape painting in the 19th century. A key event, when it is remembered that landscape would become the primary subject of the Impressionists later in the century.

Landscape had had a brief moment of glory amongst the Dutch masters of the 17th century. Ruisdael and others had devoted large canvases to the depiction of the low countries. But in the 18th century hierarchy of subject matter, landscape was nearly the lowest type of painting. Only the still-life was considered less important. This would change in the first decades of the 19th century when Constable began to depict his father’s farm on oversized six-foot long canvases.“

The Court, The Croft – English Heritage Summary

THE CROFT 1. 1485 The Court SP 5407 18/40 12.1.54. II 2. House. RCHM 272. Probably originally early Cl7 but remodelled. 2-storeyed rubble with cellars and 2 modern gabled attic dormers in a modern red tile roof. On North and South are projecting stone stacks with renewed stone twin octagonal – sided shafts. In the West front elevation are renewed 2-light stone mullioned and transomed windows; the front doorway has a modern bracketed and moulded hood. Interior: RCHM page 186a. Includes an original fireplace. Listing NGR: SP5436607474

List Of Images


C.475 – Unknown artist(s) except f.95 by William Crotch. [fn3], possible copies of Malchair or Crotch.

  Bodleian M.S. Top. Oxon. c. 475


Folio Description


Date Copy Date
f.10 North side of Heddington church and Mr Pearson’s House near Oxford


Sept 5 1798 Dec 26th 1803
f.11 Western Front Of Mr Pearson’s House at Heddington


Sept 5 1798 Dec 27th 1803
f.12 West view of a cottage on the North side of Mr Pearson’s House Heddington


Sept 5 1798 Jan 4th 1804
f.29 View towards Elsfield S of Mr Pearsons House at Heddington near Oxford


N/A Jan 16th 1804
f.30 View towards Elsfield S of Mr Pearsons House at Heddington near Oxford


N/A Jan 16th 1804
f.34 The back of the Cottage adjoining to Mr Pearson’s House at Heddington


April 4th 1799 Jan 23rd 1804
f.48 Mr Philips House at Barton, first house from Heddington


April 4th 1799 May 21st 1804
f.52 Heddington near Oxford


1798 May 24th 1804
f.63 Entrance to Heddington from Barton


April 4th 1799 July 24th 1804
f.65 Heddington


1798 July 27th 1804
f.66 Heddington


1798 July 28th 1804
f.74 Heddington Hill Near Oxford


N/A Jan 13th 1804
f.88 N.E. Side of Heddington Church ..


April 4th 1799 Nov 20th 1804
f.95 Jones the Stonecutters, Headington Stone Signed William Crotch


Aug 1 1799 May 3rd 1806


  Internet – see above


  Headington Church Village from the terrace Sit Joseph Locke’s WC Jul 6th 1832 half past 5 PM ???? 24 1842 (????)


July 6th 1832 Sept? 24 1842



All by Malchair, except WA2004 by Crotch.

Ashmolean Desc Date
WA1925.16 A View of Oxford as it appears at Elsfield 29 March 1761
WA1925.26 View of Headington 19 May 1773
WA1925.51 Oxford from Shotover Hill, from recollection 10 January 1791
WA1925.98 A View near Podzies Pond in the Vale between Headington and Elsfield 17 March 1778
WA1925.163 From near Joe Pullen’s tree Headington Hill  
WA1928.101 Oxford from Headington Hill 18 May 1773
WA1928.140 Shotover Hill 12 June 1765
WA1928.148 ‘Near the Wick Headington March 13 – 1778 -/1’  
WA1928.150 A View between Elsfield and the New Inn, March 18 – 1778 /3  
WA1928.190 Oxford from Hinksey  
WA1996.498 View of Oxford from Shotover  
WA2004.48 The Quarries from Shotover Hill  
WA2004.49 The Back of Headington Hill  


Corpus Christi

All J. Malchair

Folio Desc
v443_v1_f9 The Porck Griskin Expedition 23 Mar 1771 at Heddington
v443_v1_f10 Near Heddington by Oxford April 18 1771′ A ramble a Duo about Heddington Richard Mead & J.M
v443_v1_f13 A Windmill near Heddington Oxfordshire 18 Apr 1771
v443_v1_f14 Oxford From Heddington Hill 18 Apr 1771
v443_v3_f6 Elsfield Church 11 Jun (1767)
v443_v7_f11 Heddington Hill Oxford 23 May 1774

Norwich Castle, Museum and Art Gallery

Extensive collection of works by W. Crotch, only two of which is some interest  below. and will be published shortly (permission received, must pay admin fee)

Folio Desc
NWHCM : L1976.9.13 : F /An Elm in Mr. Lock’s Garden, Hedddington, called little Jo: Pullen
NWHCM : L1976.9.26 : F Dr William Crotch /View from the back of Heddington Hill

Other Archives

Magdalen College as a set of twelve Malchair images, one of which is marked Headington? but is of little value.


Version 1.0 Initial Release 17/12/2013





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