South Oxford Community Centre

Lake Street, Oxford, OX1 4RP 01865 242666

Paper-roofed houses on Weirs Lane

Weirs Lane paper-roofed houses 1923 just before demolition

Image from The Bodleian Library, MS Top Oxon d.493, fol 59r bottom.

This photograph of paper-roofed cottages on Weirs Lane was taken just before their demolition in 1923. Weirs Mill on  a side-stream stream of the Thames, close to where Donnington Bridge now crosses the river, was converted in around 1824 from corn to paper manufacturing and a photograph of around 1870 suggests that at least two of the buildings on site had paper roofs. The mill also owned this group (left) of three pairs of semi-detached workers' cottages fronting onto Weirs Lane and these were also roofed with paper (notice how shallow the pitch of the roofs is).

Some time before 1885 Weirs Mill was bought by John Towle (who already owned nearby New Hinksey Mill) and was converted to manufacture cardboard.

Cold Harbour OS 1878 mills

The paper-roofed cottages and the two paper mills can be seen on this extract from the Ordnance Survey map of 1878. John Towle's paper house is the dark shape south of New Hinksey Mill, in the 'V' of the railway line and the Abindon Road.


Weirs paper mill on the Weirs mill stream, close to where Donnington Bridge now crosses the river.
Copyright John Burbank, and reproduced with his permission. There is another painting of the mill here.
(Click image to close)

[Weirs Paper Mill, painting]