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Waterways of Oxfordshire

Navigable Rivers and Canals within Oxfordshire

Claydon Lock Flight on the Oxford Canal (Southern Section).

Aylesbury - Abingdon Canal project

Waterway's place in Oxfordshire :

A proposed canal through Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Waterway Description:

A proposed 36½ mile canal from Wilts & Berks Canal at Abingdon over the River Thames on an aqueduct via Thame and Aylesbury to join the Grand Junction at Marsworth. Never authorised or built.

History:

In 1809 the idea was advocated by the Wilts & Berks as the Western Junction Canal extension to to their navigation. It was revived again in 1813 and 1817 with the support of the Grand Junction Canal company.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Cassington Cut

Waterway's place in Oxfordshire :

The whole waterway is within Oxfordshire.

Waterway Description:

A 0.75 mile cut, with one lock, from the River Thames below Eynsham to the road to Cassington.

History:

The Duke of Marlborough's private cut started in 1800 and completed in 1814, both dates approximate. Disused about 1870.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Central Junction Canal project

Waterway's place in Oxfordshire :

A proposed canal from Oxfordshire to Warwickshire.

Waterway Description:

A proposal for a canal from Abingdon through Whitney, Burford, Upper Swell, Batsford and Shipston-on-Stour to Stratford-upon-Avon, with a branch to quarries at lower Guiting.

History:

Surveyed in 1810 but opposed by the Grand Junction Canal and the Warwick & Napton companies and did not reach the parliamentary Bill stage.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Duke's Cut

Waterway's place in Oxfordshire :

The whole waterway is within Oxfordshire.

Waterway Description:

A short backwater and cut linking the Oxford Canal with the Thames

History:

Built by the Duke of Marlborough and when opened in 1789 formed the first link between the Thames and the Oxford Canal. The alternative link at Isis Lock was opened in 1796.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Lechlade - Abingdon Canal project

Waterway's place in Oxfordshire :

A proposed canal from Gloucestershire to Oxfordshire.

Waterway Description:

A plan for a canal from Lechlade to Abingdon to by-pass the navigational difficulties of the upper Thames.

History:

Proposed in 1783, surveyed in 1784 never authorised or built.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

London & Western Canal project

Waterway's place in Oxfordshire :

A proposed canal from Oxfordshire to London.

Waterway Description:

A proposal for a canal from the Oxford Canal at Hampton Gay to Isleworth so that traffic could avoid the Thames. Also known as the Hampton Gay Canal.

History:

Proposed in 1792 and supported by both the Oxford and the Thames & Severn canal companies. Never authorised or built.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Oxford Canal

Waterway's place in Oxfordshire :

A canal that passes through Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire.

Waterway Description:

This 77 mile canal runs from Hawksbury Junction (near Coventry) to Oxford, where it joins the Thames. It is now considered as two sections, the Northern and Southern, with the connecting 3 miles now part of the Grand Union, London to Birmingham route.

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1769, 1775, 1786, 1794, 1799, 1807, 1808 and 1829. Open, except for Isis Lock, in 1790.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Oxford Canal (Southern Section)

Waterway's place in Oxfordshire :

From a point near Boundary Lift Bridge, No 141, where the canal crosses from Warwickshire into Oxfordshire the canal travels about 14 miles to just above Aynho Weir Lock No 33 where it crosses into Northamptonshire.

A short distance south of Aynho Bridge, No 190, the canal leaves Northamptonshire and crosses back into Oxfordshire. From here to its terminus in Oxford is about 19 miles.

Waterway Description:

Runs 49.25 miles from Napton Junction, where it joins the Grand Union Main Line, to Oxford where it joins the Thames.

History:

Fenny Compton Tunnel was opened out in 1870. The name remains and its site can be recognised by the straight stretch of narrow canal in a cutting crossed by several bridges. In 1939 L. T. C. Rolt, on board Cressy, made his historic trip from Banbury, later recorded in his seminal classic canal book Narrow Boat.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Thames

Waterway's place in Oxfordshire :

From St. John's Lock, where the river enters Oxfordshire, it forms a boundary between Gloucester and Oxfordshire until a point between Buscot Lock and Kelmscot, where the river is wholly in Oxfordshire. It continues wholly in Oxfordshire until South Stoke, where the county shares a boundary with Berkshire. The river finally leaves Oxfordshire completely at at Tilehurst near Reading.

Waterway Description:

The navigation runs 211 miles from Cricklade Bridge to the Open Sea. The first 135 miles, above Teddington, are non-tidal

History:

The river has been used as a navigation from prehistoric times. Numerous Acts of Parliament have been passed relating to the river from as far back as 1423 and by the height of 'canal mania' in 1793 the river had already been the subject of 23 Acts.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Wilts and Berks Canal

Waterway's place in Oxfordshire :

From the junction with the River Thames at Abingdon to a point between Longcot and Marston, where it crosses into Wiltshire, the canal is in Oxfordshire.

Waterway Description:

This derelict canal runs 52 miles from Abingdon, where it joins the River Thames, to Semington, where it joins the Kennet and Avon Canal

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1795, 1810, 1813, 1815 and 1821. Opened from Semington to Abingdon in 1810. North Wilts Canal promoted by an Act of 1813 and opened in 1819. Both parts were closed in 1914.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

External Web Sites Related to Oxfordshire Waterways

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Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
Features Contact me Glossary Boats Events List History Local Waterways Help Photo List