SP5269 : Rowdyke Bridge south-west of Barby in Northamptonshire

taken 5 years ago, near to Willoughby, Warwickshire, Great Britain

Rowdyke Bridge south-west of Barby in Northamptonshire
Rowdyke Bridge south-west of Barby in Northamptonshire
This is the Oxford Canal, looking north towards Rugby, and towards Rowdyke Bridge, No 82. It is an accommodation bridge with no public right of way across it or into adjacent fields to the east.
Accommodation Bridges
When the canals (or railways) were built in the 18th and 19th centuries, they were often routed in such a way that farmers and other landowners had their land bisected, so bridges had to be provided to allow access to fields on both sides of the canal. These bridges are frequently referred to as accommodation bridges, and however solid and well constructed, often don't lead anywhere except from one field to another.
The Oxford Canal
The 78 mile Oxford Canal links Oxford with the Coventry Canal near Bedworth, via Banbury and Rugby. It connects to the River Thames at Oxford, and even combines with the Grand Union Canal for 5 miles near Braunston.

The canal was constructed in stages over about twenty years from 1769 to 1790. James Brindley surveyed and began the work with Samuel Simcock, but following Brindley's death, Simcock took over. By 1774 the canal had reached Napton, and by 1778, Banbury. Lack of money meant that the final stretch to Oxford was not started until 1786. That took three years and the completed canal was finally opened on 1 January 1790.

Being an early canal, it was built to be contour hugging, avoiding changes of water level wherever possible. As a result of increasing competition from the Grand Union Canal, by the late 1820s it was decided that the meandering course needed reducing in mileage, so the northern section was to be reduced by more than 14 miles. Construction, supervised by Sir William Cubitt, started in 1829, and was finished by 1834. A parallel doubling up of the lock flight at Hillmorton was built and the route was straightened in many places, and a new tunnel at Newbold was dug. Not all the planned improvements were made; the final reduction in mileage being nearer 11 miles.
Evidence of the original course can still be seen by perusing aerial images and OS 1:25000 maps. The section south of Napton was never straightened. The railways had arrived and canal decline had started.

Information reduced from Wikipedia LinkExternal link
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Roger Kidd and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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SP5269, 72 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Wednesday, 21 August, 2013   (more nearby)
Submitted
Monday, 14 May, 2018
Geographical Context
Farm, Fishery, Market Gardening  Grassland  Canals 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 5208 6964 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:19.3438N 1:14.2388W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 5210 6960
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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Other Tags
Pasture  Canal Bridge  Accommodation Bridge 

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Image Type (about): geograph 
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