Open 10am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday, 109-113 High Street, Oxford

Our History

Shepherd & Woodward are a traditional clothing outfitters in the High Street, Oxford, England. In particular, we provide academic gowns and other clothing for the University of Oxford. The shop's origins date back to 1845.

The company was set up by Arthur Shepherd, who in 1877 took over the tailor's shop of Arthur Brockington in 62 Cornmarket St, Oxford.  After Arthur's death in 1895, his son Ernest took over the business, and in 1902 he opened a branch named Arthur Shepherd in 32 Trinity St, Cambridge under independent management. In 1929 Ernest Shepherd merged his business with Wilton Woodward, and moved their premises, now renamed Shepherd & Woodward, to The High.  Originally a gentleman's tailor, it has over the years specialised in academic dress and academic memorabilia as well.

Dennis Venables, apprenticed in 1930, bought the business and it has remained in the family since.  He was joined by his sons John in 1957 and Peter in 1963.  John and Peter still Directors, continue to keep a keen eye on the business.

In the 1990s the shop was managed by John Venables's son in law, Adrian Palfreyman.

Now surviving the pandemic we are moving into the next generation with Peter's son, Richard Venables, and John's daughter, Lisa  Venables joining as Managing Directors.

Please do come shopping and support perhaps now the oldest remaining Oxford family business. 

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