K6 Telephone Kiosk adjacent to St Johns College (West Block), St Giles, Oxford


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
St. Johns College, St. Giles, Oxford, OX1 3JP


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Statutory Address:
St. Johns College, St. Giles, Oxford, OX1 3JP

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Oxford (District Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


K6 telephone kiosk, designed in 1935 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.

Reasons for Designation

The K6 Telephone Kiosk adjacent to St John’s College (West Block), St Giles, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons.

Architectural interest:

* as an iconic design by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, one of the leading British architects of the period.

Group Value:

* for its strong visual relationship with multiple listed buildings on St Giles, particularly: St John’s College West Block (Grade II), St John’s College North Block (Grade II), Cook’s Building (Grade I) and the Boundary Wall to St John’s College (Grade II).


The K6 telephone kiosk is a milestone of C20 industrial design. The K6 was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1935 for the General Post Office, on the occasion of King George V's Silver Jubilee. The K6 was a development from Scott's earlier, highly successful K2 telephone kiosk design of 1924, of neoclassical inspiration. The K6 was more streamlined aesthetically, more compact and more cost-effective to mass produce.

Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) was one of the most important of modern British architects; his many celebrated commissions include the Anglican cathedral of Liverpool and Battersea power station. The K2 and K6 telephone kiosks can be said to represent a very thoughtful adaptation of architectural tradition to contemporary technological requirements. Well over 70,000 K6s were eventually produced. In the 1960s many were replaced with far plainer kiosk types. But many still remain, and continue to be an iconic feature on Britain's streetscapes.

Archive photography indicates that the K6 telephone kiosk adjacent to St John's College was installed at that location after 1957.


K6 telephone kiosk, designed in 1935 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.

DESCRIPTION: the K6 is a standardised design made of cast iron sections bolted together, painted red overall with long horizontal glazing in door and sides with the crowns situated on the top panels being moulded rather than perforated. There are rectangular white display signs reading 'TELEPHONE' beneath the shallow curved roof.

Although there is some graffiti on the top panels and the rear elevation, the kiosk remains largely intact. It is in generally good condition and retains all but two of its glazing panels. The rear section has been replaced with a stainless steel panel which matches the appearance of the original. The metal insert in the wooden door has also been replaced with a stainless steel panel and painted to match the original. The kiosk is not in operational use and the internal telephone equipment has been removed.

The K6 stands on the east side of St Giles; adjacent to the Grade II-listed North and West Blocks of St John's College. Additionally, on the same side of the road to the south are the Grade I-listed Cooks Building and the Grade II-listed boundary wall of St John's College. The telephone kiosk has a strong visual relationship with these four listed buildings collectively.


Website detailing historic telephone boxes, accessed 27 January 2020 from http://www.the-telephone-box.co.uk/kiosks/k6/


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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