The hotel is of historical importance and was originally built by Thomas Kingerlee as his private home in the 1870's. Thomas Kingerlee was a master builder in Oxford and built many of the imposing buildings in the area (read more of the builder here ) - he was twice Oxford Mayor in the early 1900's.
The property is owned by Christchurch College, a part of Oxford University and a landowner in West Oxford. Christchurch want to redevelop the whole area (read more of the controversy here )
In 2015 River Hotel was added to the Heritage Assets Register as a building of local importance, read the Oxford Mail article.
Built by 1878, this was originally called Bridge House and was probably home of the builder George Jones who leased a builders? yard to the rear and built houses on Botley Road and Mill Street. Soon after 1881 it became the home of the successful building company owner T.H. Kingerlee who?s company built many houses in West Oxford, including houses on Cripley Road and Abbey Road just across Botley Road and further west along Botley Road where Helen Road and Henry Road are named after family members. The building company?s yard was also located just to the north at Abbey Road with access to the wharfs on the river. Kingerlee also built many of Oxford?s a landmark buildings, particularly in the west of the city (including the Nominate a Heritage Asset Old Fire Station, the Jam Factory and the New Theatre. He was elected Mayor of Oxford in 1895 at which time he was a Liberal Councillor, and again in 1911. He was made an Alderman in 1906.
The firm of Kingerlee still continues to be an important company in Oxford today. Architectural interest: This is a large and imposing late Victorian building standing next to Botley Road which is now one of the main routes into the city centre. It is significantly larger than surrounding houses and occupies the conspicuous position next to the river. The building retains architectural detailing, including its timber framed sash windows, some of which are embellished with gothic arched heads. Here is the full nomination paper.