24-26 Cornmarket Street, in Oxford, is a timber-framed building built in the late 14th century. It belonged to a wine merchant who ran it as an inn, the “New Inn”. What remains is about half of it, as the “complete” one would have had a central courtyard. The building is mostly original, although parts of it were from a restoration funded by Jesus College in the 1980s.
24-26 Cornmarket Street’s architecture is typical of 14th century Britain. For example, each floor is gradually wider than the one below – a way to maximise floor space without having to buy more land. Medieval buildings had such big overhangs that, in some cases, two households on either side of a narrow street could shake hands out of the window.