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Elliston & Cavell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Elliston & Cavell Ltd
TypeSubsidiary (1953–1973)
Founded1835; 186 years ago (1835)
FoundersMichael Stratton and Barrie Stuart Trinder
Defunct1973; 48 years ago (1973)
FateRe-branded as Debenhams
HeadquartersOxford, England
ProductsClothing and Department
RevenueSee parent company
See parent company
ParentDebenhams plc (1953–present)

Elliston & Cavell was for many years the leading department store in Oxford, England.[1] The store was located on the west side of Magdalen Street in central Oxford. The shop stocked uniforms for local schools such as the Dragon School.


Jesse Elliston originally owned a draper's shop opposite St Mary Magdalen Church in Oxford. On 9 April 1835, at the age of 22, John Cavell married Sarah Elliston, the sister of Jesse at St John Baptist Church in Summertown, Oxford.[2] Elliston made Cavell a partner in celebration of the marriage. Thereafter, the shop became known as Elliston & Cavell. In 1853, Jesse Elliston was found dead on his walk home from work at the age of 47, while Sarah Elliston died in 1856.[3]

In 1861, James Cavell married his widowed sister-in-law Harriet Delf (nee Elliston); they lived above the premises at 12 Magdalen Street. James Cavell was made Mayor of Oxford for the first time in 1865 and was the Chairman of the Oxford Building & Investments Company until 1882, but died aged 74 in 1887.[3]

The original store was demolished in 1894 to make way for the current building.[3] It eventually became the largest department store in Oxford. The store was lavishly decorated with a sweeping staircase and a bakelite mural depicting deer in a forest glade. The ladies' powder room had basins in the shape of marble swans with gold taps, with ladies in black uniform providing dry towels.[4]

The shop was taken over by Debenhams in 1953, but the original name was retained until 1973. The building still forms part of the Debenhams store.

See also


  1. ^ Michael Stratton and Barrie Stuart Trinder, Twentieth Century Industrial Archaeology, Taylor & Francis, 2000, page 180. ISBN 978-0-419-24680-0.
  2. ^ John Caldicott Cavell, Mayor of Oxford.
  3. ^ a b c "John Caldicott Cavell, Mayor of Oxford 1865/6, 1877/8 1879/80 - Oxford". Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  4. ^ "The way shops were in Oxford by Chris Koenig - Oxford Times published 4/8/2010". Retrieved 7 November 2014.

This page was last edited on 23 September 2021, at 01:32
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