"The Shark House" is certainly not the official name for this rather eccentric landmark, but that's what it tends to be known as. It is located in the quiet, middle class Oxford suburb of Headington and attracts many tourists every year.

The shark itself is some ten feet in height and is made of fiberglass. It was lifted into place by a crane one night in 1986 and lodged in the roof of one of the terraced houses on New High Street, looking for all the world as if it had plunged to its ignominious death from a leisurely night stroll in the skies. It is rather realistically painted and, being almost as tall as the house it sticks out of, a lot bigger than people tend to expect. Altogether the effect is at once comical, awe inspiring and surreal.

John Buckley, the sculptor responsible for this funkiest of Oxford quirks and who also (luckily, I suppose) owns the house that owns the shark is a shy individual who never saught publicity but who nevertheless fought a protracted and at times rather vicious battle with the local council to be allowed to keep it in place. If I understand correctly, he eventually won his case in the High Court by successfully claiming that the shark is now a landmark attraction and should not only be kept, but listed.

To see pictures of the Shark House, take a look at http://www.any-web.co.uk/Portal/Towns/H/Headington/Texts/Headington_shark.asp.

Thanks to heyoka for some additional info!