Arrow marks Isis Lock

Round Trip from Folly Bridge, Osney Lock, Four Rivers, Isis Lock, up the Oxford Canal, to Duke's Cut, King's Lock, Godstow Lock, The Trout,Port Meadow, Medley, and back to Four Rivers and to Folly Bridge.
Only don't choose a windy day for the section above Kings Lock!

These sections are all covered elsewhere:
Folly Bridge
Bacon's Folly;
Oxford Footbridge;
Osney Footbridge;
Osney Railway Bridges;
Four Rivers.
1893: Ravenstein, The Oarsman's and Angler's map -

A branch stream leads to the Oxford canal, by which, for a small sum, steam launches and other craft up to 7ft beam may reach the Thames again above King's Weir, avoiding the intervening difficulties of the river.


The canal was supported by Oxford clergy and academics, who could see the benefit of cheap coal from the midlands.

But what is hard to understand today is that what the canal brought was cheap coal from London! The river was so much harder to navigate and more expensive that this canal from the north was actually a cheaper route!

 

Castlemill Boatyard and St Barnabas Church

1842: Plan of Castle Mill Boatyard and St Barnabas Church -

Map of Castlemill Boatyard, 1842
Map of Castlemill Boatyard, 1842?

A Towpath Walk In Oxford by Mark Davies and Catherine Robinson, 2003 -

Castlemill Boatyard comprises the very first wharf to be established in Jericho, set up by Henry Ward, a member of a successful and philanthropic Oxford family of coalmerchants, boatowners, and boatbuilders in the early 19th century. Ward is described as a 'Jericho Boatbuilder' in Pigot's Directory for 1842 - but may well have operated for some years prior to this.
The Ward family still owned most of the land here when St Barnabas' Church was built (1869), and as well as providing the land for the church's construction, the Wards also provided the site for Jericho's first school in 1856.
Later on, in 1927, it was this site which enabled the Oxford Canal Company (the pre-World War Two forerunner to BW) to begin its strategic withdrawal from the centre of Oxford, on the basis that the Jericho wharves were by then considered ample alternative accommodation ... for delivery and stacking of all goods carried on the Canal'.
Post-World War Two, the Jericho wharves contributed to the salvation of a canal threatened by closure, through providing a base for the embryonic leisure trade - including the hire fleet of British Waterways itself - which has grown to become one of the mainstays of the inland waterways in general.

1875: Castlemill Boatyard and St Barnabas, Jericho, Henry Taunt -

St Barnabas, Jericho, Taunt, 1875
Castlemill Boatyard and St Barnabas, Jericho, Taunt, 1875
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; HT1657

1972: Castlemill Boatyard and St Barnabas, Jericho, Malcolm Graham -

St Barnabas, Jericho, Malcolm Graham 1972
Castlemill Boatyard and St Barnabas, Jericho, Malcolm Graham 1972
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; D205209a

St Barnabas, Jericho,2007
Closed boatyard and St Barnabas, 2007

St Barnabas' Church

The Castlemill Boatyard site is now being developed.
An initial sketch -

Map of Castlemill Boatyard, 1842
Development in place of Castlemill Boatyard?

College Cruisers: East bank

College Cruisers 2007
College Cruisers 2007

Mount Place Footbridge

Mount Place Footbridge 2007
Mount Place Footbridge 2007

Walton Well Road Bridge

Bridge 242

Walton Well Road Bridge 2007
Walton Well Road Bridge 2007

Walton or Bruman's Well -

.

Still remembered in the name of Walton Well Road, and having on its site a fountain, erected in 1885 by the liberality of Alderman Ward. The inscription is as follows: 1885. Drink and think of Him who is the fountain of life. With the consent of the lords of the manor, this drinking-fountain is erected by Mr. William Ward, to mark the site of a celebrated spring, known as Walton Well, adjacent to the ancient fordway into Colt Meadow, now called Walton Ford.

Building works

New building 2007

Aristotle Bridge, Aristotle Lane Bridge, 240

Aristotle Lane Bridge 2007
Aristotle Lane Bridge, 2007

Aristotle's Well -

ARISTOTLE'S Well is not far from Elmer's (and Wolward's) Well in the north suburbs, neare or in the fields of Walnercote or Ulgars--or Algar's Cote.
It was anciently (as by some now) called Brumman's Well, together with that at Walton, because Brumman le Rich or de Walton lived and owned lands about the said wells, most, if not all, of which he gave by the favour of Robert D'oilly, his lord and master, who came into England with the Conqueror, to St. George's College in the Castell at his first foundation, A.D. 1074.
After his time, if not, be likely, before, it was christened by the name of Aristotle's Well, because that it was then - as now 'tis - frequented in the summer season by our Peripateticks.
In the present summer (1888) it was built over by the garden wall of a house erected on the south of the road leading to the canal bridge.
Survey of the Antiquities of the City of Oxford, composed in 1661-66 by Anthony Wood, edited by Andrew Clark, M.A., vol. i., 1889; Oxford Historical Soc., pp. 353, 354.

Frenchay Road Bridge, Bridge 239, constructed in 1895-8

Frenchay Road Bridge

Bridge 2007
Bridge, 2007

Frenchay Road Bridge

Bridge 2007
Bridge 239, 2007

St Edward's Lift Bridge, Bridge 238. A pedestrian lifting bridge

St Edward's Lift Bridge 2007
St Edward's Lift Bridge 2007

Narrows but no bridge
Railway Bridge

Bridge 237

Railway Bridge 2007
Railway Bridge 2007

Left bank allotments
Balls Bridge, Bridge 236
Bridge 237?

Balls Bridge 2007
Balls Bridge 2007

Godstow Road Footbridge?
Godstow Road Bridge

Bridge 235

Godstow Road Bridge 2007
Godstow Road Bridge 2007

Wolvercote Lock, immediately above Godstow Road Bridge

Wolvercote Lock 2007
Wolvercote Lock 2007

Wolvercote Lock 2007
Wolvercote Lock 2007

Perry's Lift Bridge

Bridge 234. A pedestrian lifting bridge

Lift Bridge 2007
Lift Bridge 2007

Wolvercote A34 Western Bypass Bridge

A34 Western Bypass Bridge 2007
A34 Western Bypass Bridge 2007

2008: The Bridge is being replaced. Highways Agency newsletter, May 2008 -

The construction process will take approximately two years and we aim to complete the project in the Summer of 2010.
Why are we replacing the Viaduct?
The viaduct was built in the early 1960s and mainly due to salt laden water leaking through the deck joints, the viaduct has deteriorated. We have carried out work to repair the viaduct in recent years, but in the long term it is better value for money to replace the viaduct rather than having to keep carrying out repairs.
Project Timetable:
Stage 1 Construct the temporary Southbound bridge deck to the east of the existing structure.
Stage 2 Demolish the existing Northbound bridge deck and rebuild.
Stage 3 Demolish the existing Southbound bridge deck and rebuild.
Stage 4 Slide the temporary Southbound bridge deck into its permanent location.
Stage 5 Demolish the temporary Southbound piers and North abutment.

Lift Bridge, Bridge 233, immediately above A34 bridge

Lifting Bridge 233, 2007
Lifting Bridge 233, 2007

A40 Northern By Pass Road Bridge (Wolvercote Canal Bridge)

A40 Northern Bypass Bridge 2007
A40 Northern Bypass Bridge 2007

Junction with Duke's Cut

Junction with Duke's Cut 2007
Junction with Duke's Cut, 2007

Lock Keeper's House, Dukes Lock, Oxford Canal, by Michele Field -

Lock Keepers House, Dukes Lock, Oxford Canal, Michele Field
Lock Keeper's House, Dukes Lock, Oxford Canal, by Michele Field

Oxford Canal Towpath Bridge over Duke's Cut entry, bridge 232. Exactly three miles from Isis Lock

Towpath Bridge over Duke's Cut, bridge 232, 2007
Towpath Bridge over Duke's Cut, bridge 232, 2007

Railway Bridge over Lock
Duke's Cut Lock, Lock 44A

Duke's Cut Lock and Railway bridge, 2007
Duke's Cut Lock and Railway bridge, 2007

Note that no provision has been made for crossing the upper gate. It can of course be done with care!
So, single handed, going towards the Thames, stop on the left below the lock.

A40 Bridge, On Duke's Cut

A40 Bridge over Duke's Cut, 2007
A40 Bridge over Duke's Cut, 2007

The towpath under the bridge was flooded and between it and the lock the LEFT bank (facing the Thames) was leaking badly into a ditch. Maybe the Thames was a little high - but it looked normal to me.

In 1789 George Spencer, Duke of Marlborough, built a short length of canal north of Wolvercote, later known as Duke's Cut, to connect the river Thames with the Oxford Canal.
He tried to sell the cut to the canal company, and in 1792 conveyed it in trust to the Vice-Chancellor and the Mayor of Oxford.

Junction of Duke's Cut with Wolvercote Mill Stream

Going from Oxford Canal to Thames: turn right.
Going from Thames to Oxford Canal: turn left.

Sign Post Duke's Cut, 2007
Sign Post Duke's Cut, 2007

Junction of Wolvercote Mill Stream and Kings Weir Stream

Going from Oxford Canal to Thames: turn right.
Going from Thames to Oxford Canal: turn left.
This next section through open water meadows is very exposed to the wind (he says ruefully. No photo - I was too busy!)
The LEFT bank (ie left going upstream towards the Thames) is the King's Lock Island (No camping?).

Junction with Thames
Upstream on the Thames is straight on (next sections River Evenlode, Eynsham Lock)
Downstream to the left is the cut to King's Lock

King's Lock
Western Bypass Road Bridge
Godstow Bridge
Godstow Lock
The Trout
Port Meadow
The Perch
Medley Footbridge
Four Rivers
and so home ...