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This section in The Stripling Thames by Fred Thacker

"Osney" is locally pronounced "OWES KNEE"

Downstream of the bridge on the right bank there was once a side stream. (Click Map and then Old OS Maps to see its course.)
 
1909: The Stripling Thames, Fred Thacker. He starts by reminding us that actually, in some respects, things have improved since his day, though we still appreciate what he said -

The first few bends form a depressing scene of modern cottages and untidy naked banks, often beneath a pall of factory smoke; the very picture of desolation. After less than a quarter of a mile, however, of broken down sheds, of gasworks and woodyards, the meadows open out on the right bank, and there are willowed islands, outposts of the rural loveliness ahead.
There follow two ugly iron bridges, the first of which belongs to the gasworks.
Some day all our old stone bridges will be ruined by the demon motors, and in their place we shall get our deserts - troughs such as these.

This bridge is a solid example of Victorian Industrial architecture formerly known as "Gasworks Bridge". It was built for the short railway branch line connecting the gasworks on the left bank (your right as you go upstream) with the main railway line. The junction was just south of Osney Railway Bridge.
 
The gasworks have now been removed and the bridge converted into a footbridge with no sign of its railway origins.
 
1878: Ordnance Survey Map showing Gasworks before the bridge was built.

1882: The Oxford Gaslight and Coke Company constructed the bridge. Sections were assembled on the south bank and then floated into position. -

Gasworks Bridge Construction, 1882, Taunt
Gasworks Bridge Construction, 1882, Taunt
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; HT140

Shades of the famous New York skyscraper photos of workmen casually standing on girders high over the city!
But they must have used a crane to place that girder on the barges? So why use the barges? If they used a crane then why not crane it straight into its final position rather than risking that precarious balance on the three barges? I don't like to contemplate the possibility that they dragged the girder off the bank and then jacked it up into that position!
 
1897: Oxford Gas Company Bridge, James Dredge -

Oxford Gas Company Bridge, James Dredge, 1897
Oxford Gas Company Bridge, James Dredge, 1897
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; D230533a

 

Gasworks Bridge, 1920, Henry Taunt
Gasworks Bridge, 1920, Henry Taunt
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; HT12249

1968: The last gasometer was demolished.

Osney Footbridge 1999
Osney Footbridge in 1999.

 

Osney Footbridge, Doug Myers © 2005
Osney Footbridge, Doug Myers © 2005

1642-1646: Harts Sconce was a Civil War fortified island opposite the Gasworks.

The gasworks has now been replaced by Grandpont Nature Reserve - so there is hope yet -

The 3 hectares of Grandpont were once the site of the former gas works which were demolished in 1960, the only visible remnant of which is the ornamental rail bridge which was used to carry coal from the main line across the Thames to the furnaces.

The area was re-landscaped in 1985 by planting trees and sowing wildflower seed to create a patchwork of shrubberies and hay meadows. The park has matured into an attractive setting for a lunch break and a haven for wildlife - a stone's throw from the City centre.

Look out for the Green Woodpeckers which like to forage for insects in the short turf created by the abundant rabbits. In spring cowslips flower along the edges of some of the paths and later in the summer look out for the tall pink spikes of Sainfoin near the main entrance.

On the South side there is a football pitch, a basketball court and kick-about goals.

 
 
 
 
(Old weir stream )




 







Introduction
Estuary
PLA
QEII Br
Barrier
Tower Br
Custom Ho
London Br
; Frost Fairs
Cannon St Rb
The Great Stink
Southwark Br
Millenium Br
Blackfriars Rb
Blackfriars Br
Waterloo Br
Charing Cross Rb
Westminster Br
Lambeth Br
Vauxhall Br
Victoria Rb
Chelsea Br
Albert Br
Battersea Br
Battersea Rb
Wandsworth Br
Fulham Rb
Putney Br
Hammersmith Br
Barnes Rb
Chiswick Br
Kew Rb
Kew Br
RICHMOND
Twickenham Br
Richmond Rb
Richmond Br
TEDDINGTON
Kingston Rb
Kingston Br
Ditton Slip
Hampton Br
MOLESEY
SUNBURY
Walton Br
Desborough Cut
SHEPPERTON
Chertsey Br
CHERTSEY
M3 Br
Laleham Slip
PENTON HOOK
Staines Rb
Staines Br
Runnymede Br
BELL WEIR
Magna Carta Is
OLD WINDSOR
Albert Br
Datchet
Victoria Br
Black Potts Rb
ROMNEY
Eton
Windsor Br
Windsor Rb
Windsor Slip
Elizabeth Br
BOVENEY
Dorney Lake
York Cut
Summerleaze Fb
MonkeyIsland
New Thames Br
BRAY
Bray Slip
Maidenhead Rb
Maidenhead Br
Below Boulters
BOULTERS
Cliveden
Hedsor
COOKHAM
Cookham Slip
Cookham Br
BourneEnd RFb
Quarry Woods
A404 Br
MARLOW
Marlow Br
Bisham
TEMPLE
HURLEY
Medmenham
Culham Ct
Aston Slip
HAMBLEDEN
Temple Is
Fawley Ct
Remenham
Regatta
Phyllis Ct
Henley Slip
Leander
Red Lion
Henley Br
Angel on Br
Landing
Hobbs Boatyard
Hobbs Slipway
MARSH
Hennerton
Bolney
Wargrave
Shiplake Rb
R.Loddon
SHIPLAKE
Sonning Br
SONNING
Dreadnought
K&A Canal
CAVERSHAM
Reading Br
Caversham Br
Reading Slip
Purley
MAPLEDURHAM
Hardwick Ho
Whitchurch Br
WHITCHURCH
Hartswood Reach
Gatehampton Rb
Goring Gap
Goring Br
GORING
Swan
CLEEVE
Moulsford
Moulsford Rb
Papist Way Slip
Winterbrook Br
Wallingford Br
BENSON
Shillingford Br
R.Thame
DAYS
Burcot
Clifton Hampden
Clifton Church
Clifton H Br
Barley Mow
Long Wittenham
CLIFTON
Appleford Rb
Sutton Courtenay
Sutton Br
CULHAM
Culham Cut Fb
Abingdon Slip
Abingdon
Abingdon Br
ABINGDON
Nuneham Rb
Nuneham
Nuneham Park
Radley Boats
SANDFORD
Rose Island
Kennington Rb
Isis Br
Iffley Mill
IFFLEY
Oxford Rowing
Isis
Donnington Br
Riverside Slip
Boathouses
Punting
Lower Cherwell
Upper Cherwell
Islip
Head of River
Salters Steamers
Folly Br
Bacons Folly
Oxford Fb
Osney Fb
Weir stream
Osney Rb
Bullstake Stream
Osney Marina
OSNEY
Osney Br
Four Rivers
OLD RIVER
CANAL
Medley Weir Site
Medley Fb
Bossoms
Perch
Trout
GODSTOW
Godstow Nunnery
Godstow Br
Thames Br
KINGS
River Evenlode
EYNSHAM
Swinford Br
Oxford Cruisers
PINKHILL
Farmoor
Stanton Harcourt
Bablock Slip
Arks Weir Site
NORTHMOOR
Harts Fb
Rose Revived
Newbridge
Maybush
River Windrush
below Shifford
SHIFFORD
Shifford Fb
Tenfoot Fb
Trout Inn
Tadpole Br
RUSHEY
Old Mans Fb
RADCOT
Radcot Cradle Fb
Swan Inn
Radcot New Br
Radcot Old Br
GRAFTON
Eaton Hastings
Kelmscott
Eaton Fb
BUSCOT
Bloomers Hole Fb
Trout Inn
St Johns Br
ST JOHNS
Halfpenny Br
Marina Slip
LIMIT
Inglesham
Hannington Br
Kempsford
Castle Eaton Br
Marston Meysey
A419 Br
Cricklade
SOURCE?
THAMES HEAD
SEVEN SPRINGS