Lionel's tattoo studio, Oxford's original walk in tattoo shop. Lionel began tattooing in 1973, and his first professional studio was in St Clements, Oxford,  above a ladies' hairdresser. Most tattooing back then was walk-in tattoos. Large work was only done by appointment on Sundays, or evenings after normal walk-in work. 

Today Lionel’s Tattoo Studio, the oldest tattoo shop in Oxford, has a long-standing philosophy. Since 1973, we have believed the studio should have a welcoming environment with a friendly approach to discussing every tattoo we do with our clients. Whether a small design or a full-body suit, we are willing to spend time helping you choose your tattoo.

Lionel’s Tattoo Studio is now managed by his son Barnaby. We also have Curly working here, who specialises in tribal-style tattooing. Although today much work is done by appointment, we are still able to offer walk in tattoos between customers or when we may have a cancellation. Please phone 01865 716877 to check if you are looking tattoo today.


Barnaby and Curly can be reached on -
01865 716877.



Monday - Saturday 10am-4pm
Appointments and walk ins welcome

weekday evenings available by appointment

Contact us
Lionel's Tattoo Studio
389 Cowley Road

Email artwork to [email protected]

Studio Appointments 01865 716877


How To Find Us



Lionel's Tattoo Studio a short history

Lionel started tattooing in 1973,  working from home at weekends and in the evenings, tattooing friends for free. Back in those days, tattooing was a very hard occupation to get into, the old tattooers were very secretive and it wasn't easy to get tattooing equipment.

Lionel’s first tattoo machines were a couple of old brass machines bought from Tony Malo an old Oxford tattooist from the 60s. By the early 1970’s Tony had stopped tattooing and had a second-hand shop in Oxford.

These first brass machines were not perfect, so Lionel got down to stripping them and getting more parts made by a couple of toolmakers he was tattooing. His uncle, also a tool maker, made some brass tubes as well. Some parts were made at the old Oxford Pressed Steel body plant in Oxford.

Soon, Lionel had a set of good tattoo machines, and business began to pick up he opened his first studio in 1975 in St Clements, Oxford. He later moved to his Cowley Road address, where the studio remains today, and now owns the oldest tattoo shop in Oxford

Lionel has retired from tattooing now, but he still builds machines for collectors the world over.

Tattooing of Minors Act 1969 Chapter 24 - You cannot obtain a tattoo under the age of 18 - NOT even with your parents permission!




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