1316: Complaint against John
de Salter, Abbot of Abingdon – for so heightening his weir that both banks
above were often flooded.
His successor was drowned - see Abingdon Bridge.
1649: Abingdon Weir (the word “Lock” is used) built by Sir George Stonehouse and Richard Adams, see photo of 1910.
1790: First Pound Lock built
1805: Abingdon Lock by William Turner of Oxford [not JMW Turner] –
[ I thought at first it might just be Nuneham Lock (I don’t know if it was a pound lock or not) – but compare the heights of the church steeple in this and the 2002 photo – this is Abingdon Lock.]
1805: And then Byrne published this black and white print -
Abingdon from the Thames Navigation, Byrne, 1805.
Who copied whom?
1859: The Thames, Mr & Mrs Hall
DISTANT VIEW OF ABINGDON CHURCH
Abingdon is one of the most ancient towns of the kingdom; it stands
near the junction of the little river Ocke (which rises in the Vale of
White Horse) * with the Thames,
* This vale takes its name from an enormous representation of a horse cut in the side of the chalk hills. This singular figure has existed there from time immemorial. It is rude in character; but, inasmuch as that character is precisely similar to the figures of horses on ancient British coins, it is believed to be equally ancient. It has long been the custom of the peasantry to clear it of weeds, and generally to restore it, at certain seasons of the year.
and although now a place of small importance, has played a conspicuous part in many of the most stirring events of British history.
A legendary tale thus describes its origin: —
"At a time when the wretched pagan Hengist basely murdered 460 noblemen and barons at Stonhengest, or Stonehenge, Aben, a nobleman's son, escaped into a wood, on the south side of Oxfordshire, where, leading a most holy life, the inhabitants of the country flocking to him to hear the word of God, built him a dwelling-house and a chapel in honour of the Holy Virgin; but he, disliking their resort, stole away to Ireland, and from him the place where he dwelt is called Abingdon."
It is hardly necessary to state that this derivation is incorrect, and that the name is purely Anglo-Saxon. We give the legend as an example of the fanciful interpolations in early history by the elder chroniclers. *
* "Abingdone" (says Leland in his "Itinerary") "stands on the right side of the Isis, and was of very old time called Seukesham, since Abendune."
The old hospital at Abingdon is founded on the site of the monastery dedicated to the Holy Cross and St. Helena, by Cisa, sister of the king of the West Saxons, in the seventh century: this religious foundation having gone to decay, a hospital was erected in its place by a rich merchant, in the reign of Henry V., named Geoffry Barbour; in the reign of Henry VIII. this and other charitable institutions in connexion with the church were forfeited to the Crown; and the Abbot of Abingdon, being one of the first to acknowledge the king's supremacy, was rewarded for such subserviency by the gift of the Manor of Cumnor, and a pension of £200 a year for his life. Sir John Mason, in the reign of Edward VI., bestirred himself to restore the charity, and in the year 1553 it was re-endowed, and named Christ's Hospital. It then accommodated thirteen poor men and women; the number is now thirty-two.
Abingdon Lock, Henry Taunt, 1885
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; HT3199
1890: Abingdon, the Lock from downstream, Francis Frith -
1905: Lock rebuilt
1910: Fred Thacker –
When I was through the lock in 1910 Mr. Drew the lockkeeper called my attention to a stone built into the left wall of the midmost of the three weirs -
This locke was bvilded by
Sr George Stonehouse and
Richard Adams Ann. 1649
Abingdon Lock stone, photo by lock keeper Mr Drew, 1910.
Abingdon Lock, 2002