Want to visit a totally whacky sculpture that resides in Oxford? Sticking out from the otherwise mundane street front in Headington is a huge shark popping out of the roof of No. 2 New High Street. What was before just an ordinary home (built as a semi-detached house in about 1860 but now attached by a link to a second house to the north) suddenly became the centre of world attention. In the early hours of Saturday 9 August 1986, a shark landed on the roof and the headless shark still excites interest today.
Bill Heine commissioned the shark and was living in this house at the time. The reasoning behind the shark that Heine gave was that “the shark was to express someone feeling totally impotent and ripping a hole in their roof out of a sense of impotence and anger and desperation…. It says something about CND, nuclear power, Chernobyl and Nagasaki.” Now if that hasn’t piqued your interest we don’t know what will! This sculpture even has its own book written by Bill Heine – The Hunting of the Shark.
For everyone looking for a stylish Victorian cottage with a unique roof sculpture, No. 2 New High Street, is a wonderful self-catering property, located 1.5miles from the city centre. For more information check out the AirBnB listing here.
So if you’re heading to Oxford don’t forget to add this to your Stack and make a trip to The Headington Shark!
Photo: Ben Harrison