Summertown in North Oxford is a suburb of Oxford, England.
Summertown is a one-mile square residential area, north of St Giles, the boulevard leading out of Oxford’s city centre. Summertown is home to several independent schools and the city’s most expensive houses. On both sides of Banbury Road are Summertown's popular shops. There is also a smaller street of shops and restaurants, South Parade, that links Banbury Road and Woodstock Road.
Summertown is home to much of Oxford's broadcast media. BBC Radio Oxford and the BBC Television's Oxford studios are on Banbury Road. Start-ups also have an increasing presence on the parade, such as Brainomix and Passle. The studios for JACK FM, Glide FM, and Six TV Oxford (no longer broadcasting) are on Woodstock Road.
Oxfam International Secretariat is based on Banbury Road. Just over half – 50.9 per cent – of the local population have a degree.
Most of north Oxford came into being as a result of the revolutionary decision by the university to permit college fellows to marry and live in real houses, as opposed to rooms in college. Large houses were built on farmland either side of Banbury Road and Woodstock Road. Much of the land belonged to St John's College, Oxford and the houses were originally sold leasehold. St John's has since sold the freehold on most of these properties.
Summertown's Church of England parish church is Saint Michael and All Angels in Lonsdale Road. The parish originated as part of Saint Giles, Oxford, when the chapel of Saint John the Baptist was completed in Middle Way, Summertown in 1832. It was a chapel of ease until 1834, when it was made a separate ecclesiastical parish.
The Gothic Revival architect H.J. Underwood designed St. John's in an Early English Gothic style. It was cruciform with a nave, north and south transepts and a short chancel. It had no tower but there was a bell-turret on the western gable of the nave. The Oxford Diocesan architect, G.E. Street extended the chancel and added the vestry in 1857. In 1875 St. John's was enlarged again with the addition of north and south aisles, an organ chamber and a second vestry, presumably for a choir.
The congregation outgrew St. John's so a new church, St. Michael and All Angels in Lonsdale Road, was built to replace it 1908-09. St. John's was demolished in 1924, the site was sold in 1970 and a block of flats now stands on the site.
St. Michael's also is a cruciform Early English Gothic Revival building, in this case designed by A.M. Mowbray. The building has never been completed. It has a chancel, north and south transepts, vestry, and a south chapel beside the chancel, but the nave and north and south aisles comprise only one bay ending in a "temporary" west wall that has stood for more than a century. The building is coursed rubblestone apart from the temporary west wall, which is brick.
A nonconformist chapel in Middle Way was completed in 1824 but had closed by 1830. It has been a Spiritualist church since 1967.
Summertown United Reformed Church began in 1838 as a Congregational mission to Summertown. A chapel for it in Middle Way was completed in 1844. The present Gothic Revival church on Banbury Road was built in 1894 and its transepts and meeting room were added in 1910. The former chapel in Middle Way was demolished in 1971.
Both St. Michael's and the URC church belong to the Summertown-Wolvercote Church Partnership which is a local ecumenical partnership.
Woodstock Road Baptist Church, on the corner of Beechcroft Road, was opened in 1897 and rebuilt in 1955. It is a member of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches.
The Roman Catholic Parish church of SS Gregory and Augustine on Woodstock Road, was founded in 1911, the same year as SS Edmund and Frideswide (Iffley Road, now run by the Capuchin Franciscans). Previously the Oxford area had been served by the Jesuits at St Aloysius (now an Oratory of St Philip Neri), which was founded in 1875, replacing the church of St Ignatius (in St Clement's), which had been founded immediately after the relaxation of the penal laws forbidding the building of Catholic places of worship, in 1795. More Catholic parishes were established in the ensuing decades.
The architect was Ernest Newton, FRIBA and a much admired member of the Arts and Crafts movement. The fabric of the church is very little changed from the time of its foundation.
Nikolaus Pevsner described the church thus (1974): "By Ernest Newton. Small and stuccoed. A rectangle, white, with a cupola. W. window with a gently double-curved head. Plaster tunnel-vault inside with tie beams."
The county secondary school for the area is Cherwell School on Marston Ferry Road to the east of Banbury Road. Cherwell School is the site for MECO Islamic School, a modern professional weekly Saturday Islamic School for all Muslim (and other) children (aged 4–16). St. Clare's, Oxford, an independent, international residential college offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma, English-language courses and IB teacher workshops is located on Banbury Road. The independent co-educational (13-18) boarding school, St Edward's School is located on Woodstock Road. The independent day and boarding Sixth Form of d'Overbroeck's College is on Banbury Road. The independent boys (8-13) preparatory school Summer Fields School is located on Mayfield Road. Traditionally Summer Fields is rivaled by its North Oxford neighbour, the co-educational boarding and day school (4-13), the Dragon School which is on Bardwell Road on the perimeter of Summertown. Lynams, the pre-prep school for the Dragon School (for boys and girls from 4–7 years old), is located on Woodstock Road. Northern House School which specializes in delivering special needs education is located on South Parade. Oxford High School, independent girls (11-18) school and member of Girls' Day School Trust, is located on Belbroughton Road, east of Banbury Road. Oxford High School Junior Department: Greycotes, independent school for girls, (ages 6–11), is located on Bardwell Road. Oxford High School Junior Department: The Squirrel, independent school (for girls and boys aged 4–6), is located on Woodstock Road. SS Philip and James Primary School, 'Phil & Jim', a Church of England Aided Primary School is located on Navigation Way. Ewert House in Ewert Place is part of the University of Oxford. It houses lecture and seminar rooms of the Department for Continuing Education and a large examination hall. Wolfson College, University of Oxford is located on Linton Road, Summertown. Magna Carta College is situated on Mayfield Road, Summertown.
In 1898 the City of Oxford Tramways Company extended its Banbury Road horse tram route to a new terminus at Summertown. In 1913 the company replaced its horse trams with motor buses. Buses running between central Oxford and Summertown via Banbury Road include the Oxford Bus Company 2, 2A, 2B, 2C and 2D, Heyfordian Travel 25 and 25A and Stagecoach 7, 7A, 7B, 17 and S5. Banbury Road also has limited-stop Park and Ride bus services linking Water Eaton with central Oxford (route 500 run by the Oxford Bus Company) and with the John Radcliffe Hospital (route 700 run by Stagecoach). As of 2011, Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach came to an agreement in which they would share the same bus timetable. This eliminated the 7, 7A and 7B buses. This also benefited the public because not only were the buses more coordinated in their schedule but the public could use the same ticket/bus pass on each of the bus companies' buses.J.R.R Tolkien, philologist, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University and Fellow of Pembroke College.
Colin Dexter, author of the Inspector Morse novels.
James Murray, lexicographer and philologist.
Desmond Morris, zoologist, ethologist and popular anthropologist.
Sir Martin Wood, co-founder of Oxford Instruments plc.
Sir Harold Warris Thompson, physical chemist.
Lord Berkeley, chairman of the Rail Freight Group.
Leszek Kołakowski, philosopher and publicist.
Yannis Philippakis of Foals.
Sir Adam Roberts, academic, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College and President of the British Academy.
Margaret Gowing, academic, first Professor of the History of Science at the University of Oxford, Fellow of Linacre College.
Tom Ward, actor who plays Harry in the BBC drama series Silent Witness.
Sir Owen St. Clair O'Malley, diplomat.
Thom Yorke of Radiohead.
Sir Francis Simon, the leading physical chemist, physicist, and Fellow of Christ Church, Oxford.
Dame Iris Murdoch, author and philosopher.
John Bayley, previously Warton Professor of English at Oxford, novelist and literary critic.
John Scott Haldane CH FRS, physiologist, Fellow of New College, famous for intrepid self-experimentation.
J.B.S. Haldane, British-born Indian geneticist and evolutionary biologist.
Naomi Mitchison, novelist and poet.