Christ Church Meadow, Oxford
Christ Church Meadow is a well-known flood-meadow, popular walking and picnic spot in Oxford, England. Triangular in shape it is bounded by the River Thames, the River Cherwell, Christ Church; the meadow provides access to many of the college boat houses which are on an island at the confluence of the two rivers. The lower sections of the meadow, close to the Thames, are grazed by cattle, while the upper sections have sports fields. Broad Walk is at the northern edge with Merton Field to the north and Merton College, dominated by the tower of Merton College Chapel, beyond that. Christ Church Meadow is owned by Christ Church, is thus the private property of the college, however access is allowed during the day. Access starts early to allow rowers to go to the boathouses. Eights Week and Torpids, Oxford University's two main rowing events, Christ Church Regatta are held on the Thames here. In past times, ornamental wooden barges were moored on the river here to store boats and house spectators; however these have all now been replaced by boathouses.
The meadow can be accessed from St Aldate's to the northwest via Broad Walk through the Christ Church War Memorial Garden, from the north in Merton Street via Grove Walk and Merton Walk, from the eastern end of the High Street via Rose Lane near the Oxford Botanic Garden to the northeast. There is lesser used access from near the Head of the River public house by Folly Bridge on the River Thames to the southwest, connecting to Poplar Walk and the path by the river. All entrances are via railinged gates. James Sadler made the first ascent in a balloon by an Englishman from the Meadow on 4 October 1784; the balloon rose to a height of around 3,600 feet and landed six miles away near the village of Wood Eaton near Islip to the north-east of Oxford. A plaque notes the event; the Meadow was the location where the medieval royal pretender, John Deydras, claimed to have been persuaded by the devil to impersonate Edward II in 1318. Postwar development planned for central Oxford included a relief road passing through the meadow and joining the district of St Ebbe's.
The proposal was defeated in 1971 after vigorous opposition. E. G. W. Bill, Christ Church Meadow, 39 pages Christ Church Meadow information from Christ Church, Oxford
Godstow Lock is a lock on the River Thames in Oxfordshire, England. It is between the villages of Wytham on the outskirts of Oxford; the first lock was built of stone by Daniel Harris for the Thames Navigation Commission in 1790. It is the lock furthest upstream on the river which has mechanical operation - every lock upstream of Godstow utilises manual beam operation instead; the main weir is a short way upstream but there is another weir at Godstow Bridge just above the Trout Inn. These feed into a backwater. Prior to the construction of the lock, Godstow Bridge served as a form of lock, which remained in service for some time after the construction of Godstow Lock in 1790. After the lock was constructed there were complaints about the raising of the water levels and the effect this had on the meadows upstream at Pixey Mead. After some years of dilapidation, the lock underwent major repair in 1872. River users would avoid the lock by navigating up the stream past Wolvecote; the lock house was built around 1896 on condition that it sold no refreshments to protect the interests of The Trout Inn.
The lock-keeper had lived on a houseboat. The lock was last rebuilt in 1924; the lock can be reached on foot from there. Beside the lock at Godstow are the ruins of Godstow Nunnery. Above the lock, the river is crossed by Godstow Bridge and the A34 Road Bridge carrying the Oxford By-pass. Upstream of Godstow the river becomes more winding as it passes Pixey Mead; the Thames Path continues on the western side to King's Lock. In the meadows near the lock, an Oxford mathematics tutor Charles Lutwidge Dodgson used to have picnics with his friend Dean Henry Liddell and his daughters Lorina and Edith. Here he made up a story which began Alice was beginning to get tired of sitting by her sister on the bank and having nothing to do..... when a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her... Locks on the River Thames Davies, Mark. A Towpath Walk in Oxford. Oxford: Oxford Towpath Press. ISBN 0-9535593-1-9. Thacker, Fred. S.. The Thames Highway: Volume II Locks and Weirs. Newton Abbot: David and Charles. Godstow Lock at riverthames.co.uk Picture of Godstow Lock at geograph.org.uk
Thames and Severn Canal
The Thames and Severn Canal is a canal in Gloucestershire in the south of England, completed in 1789. It was conceived as part of a canal route from Bristol to London. At its eastern end, it connects to the River Thames at Inglesham Lock near Lechlade, while at its western end, it connects to the Stroudwater Navigation at Wallbridge near Stroud, thence to the River Severn, it has one short arm, from Siddington to the town of Cirencester. It includes Sapperton Tunnel, which when built was the longest canal tunnel in Britain, remains the fourth longest. There were always problems with water supply, as no reservoirs were built, while the summit section near the tunnel ran through porous limestone, there were constant difficulties with leakage. Competition from the railways took much of the canal's traffic by the end of the 19th century, most of the canal was abandoned in 1927, the remainder in 1941. Since 1972, the Cotswold Canals Trust has been working to restore both the canal and the Stroudwater Navigation, so that it can again provide a navigable link between the Thames and the Severn.
A number of the structures have been restored, some sections are now in water. A major step forward occurred in 2003, when a bid was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £82 million to restore both canals; the bid and the project had to be split into smaller sections, but £11.9 million was awarded in 2006 for phase 1a, which with match funding will restore navigation from'The Ocean' at Stonehouse to Wallbridge on the Stroudwater Navigation, from Wallbridge to Brimscombe Port on the Thames and Severn Canal. Another step forwards occurred in 2010, when British Waterways gave Inglesham Lock to the Trust, the Inland Waterways Association mounted a national campaign to fund its restoration and around 420 yards of canal above it; the intention is to re-open the whole canal, but there are some major engineering obstacles to be overcome to achieve this. Since the 1730s, when the first Act of Parliament to authorize a canal from the River Severn to Stroud had been passed, the Stroudwater Navigation had been seen as part of a larger plan to link London and Bristol by waterway.
No work took place but the Stroudwater was opened in 1779, within two years the shareholders commissioned a survey for a canal from Dudbridge to Cricklade, which would complete the link. It is that John Priddy – the engineer for the Stroudwater scheme – carried out the survey, but others were soon involved including Sir Edward Littleton, part of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. Priddy suggested that there were better terminal points at Lechlade. Robert Whitworth surveyed two routes, the first as suggested by Priddy, the second direct from the Severn to the Thames following the valley of the River Coln; the first route was chosen, based on excellent water supplies at Cirencester, although the estimates of the amount of water available proved to be wildly optimistic. The estimated cost of the project was £127,916, most of, promised within three weeks; the bill to authorise the canal passed through Parliament easily, became an Act on 17 April 1783. The company could raise an initial £130,000, with an additional £60,000 if required.
The canal was to be suitable for boats 12 feet wide, so could accommodate Thames barges, but not Severn Trows. Josiah Clowes was appointed head engineer and carpenter to the canal in 1783 to assist Whitworth. Clowes was paid £ 300 per year. Clowes' work on the canal gave him a reputation which made him sought after in the last five years of his life, he left the construction of the canal shortly before completion to work on Dudley Tunnel. There was great debate about the gauge of the tunnel required at Sapperton. Commissioners from the River Thames thought that it would have to be built for narrow boats, since the cost of a larger tunnel would be prohibitive, it was going to be longer than any tunnel yet built. However, a decision was made that it would be built as a broad tunnel, 15 feet wide and high, so the company advertised for tunnellers; the tunnel was expected to take four years to complete when work began at the start of 1784, but it was not completed until April 1789. The canal opened in stages.
The first 4 miles from Wallbridge to Chalford opened in January 1785, by mid-1786, the navigable section had reached the western portal of the tunnel, 7 1⁄2 miles and 28 locks from Wallbridge. A wharf was equipped with a warehouse and coalyard; the tunnel was constructed from many workfaces, with 25 shafts sunk along its course to provide access. After completion there were problems, the tunnel was shut for two and a half months during 1790 for further work to be carried out; the summit level and a branch to Cirencester were completed in 1787, became operational as soon as the tunnel opened. The final section to the junction with the Thames at Inglesham, which descends through 16 locks, was finished in November 1789; the canal was completed at a cost of £250,000. With the Stroudwater Navigation, completed in 1779, it completed a link between the River Severn in the west and the River Thames in the east; as built, the main line had 44 locks. The branch to Cirencester added a further 1.5 miles. The first 2 1⁄2 miles from Wallbridge to Brimscombe, where there was a transhipment basin, was built with locks 69 by 16 feet, enabling Severn trows to use it.
Beyond that, the locks were 90 by 12.7 feet and the boats used were Thames barges. The canal's summit, 362 feet above sea level and 8
South Hinksey is a village and civil parish just over 1 mile south of the centre of Oxford. The parish includes the residential area of Hinksey Hill about 0.5 miles south of the village. The parish was part of Berkshire; the Southern By-Pass Road passes through the parish. The only road access to the village is via the bypass, it is on the inside of the ring road and close to the Hinksey Stream, a branch of the River Thames at Oxford. Pedestrian and cycle access to the village from Oxford is via the Devil's Backbone, it has always been difficult to get between North Hinksey to South Hinksey. In the 19th century John Ruskin tried to organize the making of a road between the two villages, as the ground between them was boggy. Since the 1930s they have been connected by the Southern By-Pass Road; until the middle of the 18th century South Hinksey was in the parish of Cumnor. When it was first created, the parish extended to the River Thames, but in 1889 the new suburb of New Hinksey, between the Thames and Hinksey Stream, was transferred to the City of Oxford.
However, the ecclesiastical parish continues to include New Hinksey. Hinksey Hinksey Stream New Hinksey North Hinksey Page, W. H.. H. eds.. A History of the County of Berkshire, Volume 4. Victoria County History. Pp. 408–410. Pevsner, Nikolaus. Berkshire; the Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. P. 222. Berkshire History website information
Donnington Bridge is a modern road bridge over the River Thames, in the south of the city of Oxford, England. At this point the river is called the Isis; the bridge carries the B4495 road from Abingdon Road to Iffley Road. It crosses the river on the reach between Osney Lock. Donnington Bridge has a single arch span of 170 feet between supports and an overall width of 56 feet 8 inches, it is constructed of reinforced concrete deck slab cast integrally with 10 pre-stressed concrete legs triangulated to meet the hinges enclosed within the abutments. The abutments are clad externally with precast concrete units faced with Criggion Green and Blue Shap stone and the fascias of the bridge are calcined flint. Early in 1954 Oxford City Council revived a proposal to construct a new road to link Iffley Road and Abingdon Road which would cross the Thames near Donnington Lane. Various routes were considered and in December 1954 the present line was approved. Although the Minister of Transport refused to provide financial assistance, the council decided to proceed with the scheme.
The design and roadworks and the overall administration of the scheme were undertaken by the City engineer J. Campbell Riddell. Travers Morgan and Partners were appointed as consultants for the design of the bridge itself and the backwater bridges; as a result of a government credit squeeze, less than a week before contract documents were issued, the project had to be shelved until February 1960. The following June the contract in the sum of £309,903 16s 11d was awarded to The Cementation Company for the construction of the bridges and the new road and for the demolition of the free Ferry link foot bridge; the overall cost including improvements to the existing approach roads, street lighting, service diversions and landscaping, came to over £400,000. Donnington Bridge was opened on 22 October 1962 by Viscount Hailsham; the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Evan Owen Roberts, was the first person to drive over the bridge. The 50th anniversary of the opening was commemorated in 2012. There is much rowing on the river by students of Oxford University, members of the City of Oxford Rowing Club, between Iffley Lock downstream from this bridge and Folly Bridge further upstream.
The start of Eights Week and Torpids is just south of Donnington Bridge, the bridge is a good place to view the races because of its high vantage point. The area is used to for Kayaking with organisation including The Riverside Centre and Isis Canoe Club all based beside the bridge. Crossings of the River Thames Christ Church Meadow
A Thames skiff is a traditional River Thames wooden rowing boat used for the activity of skiffing. These boats evolved from Thames wherries in the Victorian era to meet a passion for river exploration and leisure outings on the water; the Thames skiff owes its origins to the clinker boat building technique, of over-lapping timber planking, that's known to have existed in the region from before the 6th century Anglo-Saxon Snape and Sutton Hoo ship burials. Many of the terms used for parts of the skiff are of Germanic origin – "tholes", "thwarts", "sax". Planks on either side of a wooden keel are laid down following the outline of a sham placed across the keel; the planks are nailed in place and a transverse strengthening framework of ribs is added. Oars are held in place by wooden thole pins at the side of the boat rather than rowlocks or outriggers; the thole pins are designed to give way if too much pressure is put on them, thus protecting the boat itself from damage. The thwart, or seat, is fixed rather than sliding as in modern boats.
The sax runs round the top of the boat to protect it. Blades are made of wood with leather collars. Skiffs provide for one or two scullers but because they have been built to individual customer's specifications, there can be a wide variety of designs. There are skiffs with four rowing positions. Skiffs with more than one sculler have a seat for a coxswain who steers the boat by ropes attached to a rudder. Single scullers steer themselves, but some single skiffs allow for a cox/passenger as well; some skiffs provide for a sail to be used. Skiffs following the traditional Thames design are to be found in the Netherlands and Argentina, although Argentinian skiffs have outriggers instead of tholes. Skiffs are both working boats on the Thames, they can be seen used for other general purpose duties. Racing skiffs are specially built for skiffing in competitions at regattas and long distance marathon events between the various skiff clubs under The Skiff Racing Association rules along the Thames and for recreational purposes such as a Thames meander.
A camping skiff has an erectable canvas cover and is used for outdoor recreational activity holidays in conjunction with other activities such as walking and fishing. The cover can be used for shelter from the sun and rain during the day and at night converts the entire craft into a floating tent, it enables the occupants to experience nature and river life up close and is featured in Jerome K. Jerome's 1889 comic novel Three Men In A Boat. Thames Traditional Boat Society - Plans for skiffs and punts Docklands Museum collection Thames skiff holiday providers The Skiff Racing Association The Skiff Club, Teddington
Oxford is a university city in south central England and the county town of Oxfordshire. With a population of 155,000, it is the 52nd largest city in the United Kingdom, with one of the fastest growing populations in the UK, it remains the most ethnically diverse area in Oxfordshire county; the city is 51 miles from London, 61 miles from Bristol, 59 miles from Southampton, 57 miles from Birmingham and 24 miles from Reading. The city is known worldwide as the home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Buildings in Oxford demonstrate notable examples of every English architectural period since the late Saxon period. Oxford is known as a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold. Oxford has a broad economic base, its industries include motor manufacturing, publishing and a large number of information technology and science-based businesses, some being academic offshoots. Oxford was first settled in Anglo-Saxon times and was known as "Oxenaforda", meaning "ford of the oxen".
It began with the establishment of a river crossing for oxen around AD 900. In the 10th century, Oxford became an important military frontier town between the kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex and was on several occasions raided by Danes. In 1002, many Danes were killed in Oxford during the England-wide St. Brice's Day massacre, a killing of Danes ordered by King Æthelred the Unready; the skeletons of more than 30 suspected victims were unearthed in 2008 during the course of building work at St John's College. The ‘massacre’ was a contributing factor to King Sweyn I of Denmark’s invasion of England in 1003 and the sacking of Oxford by the Danes in 1004. Oxford was damaged during the Norman Invasion of 1066. Following the conquest, the town was assigned to a governor, Robert D'Oyly, who ordered the construction of Oxford Castle to confirm Norman authority over the area; the castle has never been used for military purposes and its remains survive to this day. D'Oyly set up a monastic community in the castle consisting of a chapel and living quarters for monks.
The community never grew large but it earned its place in history as one of Britain's oldest places of formal education. It was there that in 1139 Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote his History of the Kings of Britain, a compilation of Arthurian legends. Additionally, there is evidence of Jews living in the city as early as 1141, during the 12th century the Jewish community is estimated to have numbered about 80–100; the city was besieged during The Anarchy in 1142. In 1191, a city charter stated in Latin, "Be it known to all those present and future that we, the citizens of Oxford of the Commune of the City and of the Merchant Guild have given, by this, our present charter, confirm the donation of the island of Midney with all those things pertaining to it, to the Church of St. Mary at Oseney and to the canons serving God in that place. Since, every year, at Michaelmas the said canons render half a mark of silver for their tenure at the time when we have ordered it as witnesses the legal deed of our ancestors which they made concerning the gift of this same island.
We have made this concession and confirmation in the Common council of the City and we have confirmed it with our common seal. These are those who have made this confirmation. Oxford's prestige was enhanced by its charter granted by King Henry II, granting its citizens the same privileges and exemptions as those enjoyed by the capital of the kingdom. Oxford's status as a liberty obtained from this period until the 19th century. A grandson of King John established Rewley Abbey for the Cistercian Order. Parliaments were held in the city during the 13th century; the Provisions of Oxford were instigated by a group of barons led by Simon de Montfort. Richard I of England and John, King of England the sons of Henry II of England, were both born at Beaumont Palace in Oxford, on 8 September 1157 and 24 December 1166 respectively. A plaque in Beaumont Street commemorates these events; the University of Oxford is first mentioned in 12th-century records. Of the hundreds of Aularian houses that sprang up across the city, only St Edmund Hall remains.
What put an end to the halls was the emergence of colleges. Oxford's earliest colleges were University College and Merton; these colleges were established at a time when Europeans were starting to translate the writings of Greek philosophers. These writings challenged European ideology, inspiring scientific discoveries and advancements in the arts, as society began to see itself in a new way; these colleges at Oxf