SP4451 : Former bridge over the Oxford Canal

taken 20 days ago, near to Claydon, Oxfordshire, Great Britain

Former bridge over the Oxford Canal
Former bridge over the Oxford Canal
This is what remains of the bridge that carried the Stratford and Midland Junction Railway over the Oxford Canal. This was once a fairly extensive network of lines that connected Blisworth in Northamptonshire with Broom Junction south of Redditch. The passenger service was never very successful and trains were withdrawn in 1952; the route was, however, more important for freight especially during the two world wars, but even this ended in 1965.
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 Stephen McKay and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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SP4451, 26 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 30 April, 2019   (more nearby)
Submitted
Sunday, 5 May, 2019
Geographical Context
Railways  Canals 
Primary Subject of Photo
Canal 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 4485 5142 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:9.5544N 1:20.7477W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 4487 5140
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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Railway Bridge (Former) 

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Image Type (about): close look 
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