1A Observatory Street was built in 1905 by the Church Commissioners as the Vicarage for St Paul's Church in Walton Street (now Freuds Cafe). St John's College donated the site valued at £270.
A stone plaque, low down on the street front and forming a foundation stone, has the Latin inscription:
A.M.D.G. [ad maiorem Dei gloriam]
which translates as:
To the greater glory of God the Bishop of Reading placed this stone 16 days to the Kalens of September 1905 [ie 16 August 1905]
When St Paul's Church was made redundant in the 1970s a chance conversation between Sir Richard Doll and a member of the Church Commissioners led to the house being acquired as accommodation for the College Head of House.