Left west bank on bend above Iffley Lock on Haystacks Corner
1905: probably built by the Beesley Boatbuilding family who also built Isis Cottage, next door.
1930s: It was used by George Harris for building eights.
It then became a training centre for Oxford Brookes Rowing
2004: And is now the headquarters of Oxford Academicals Rowing Club formed that year for University Staff and postgraduate students, who are members of the University Club, to row both competitively and recreationally.
Also St Antony's College Boat Club
Isis Boathouse, 2007
In the building to the right of the boathouse, Coffee, soft drinks and delicious looking homemade cakes
are served weekends 10.30am - 6pm (or maybe later).
They also rent out canoes - pre booking essential 01865 243870 isisboathouse at yahoo.co.uk
And there can be seen some historic rowing photos and also this splendid bows of the Queen's College Boat of 1837 which defeated Lady Margaret [ie St John's College] Cambridge in what was viewed in Oxford as the equivalent of a University boat race.
I'm glad I never had to row that monster!
Queen's College Eight, 1837
1837: Oxford challenged Cambridge, designating Henley as the venue;
Cambridge suggested London; the parties were unable to agree and no University boat race occurred.
But it was then agreed that the Head boats should race each other at Henley.
This race is remembered in Oxford as more or less equivalent to a University boat-race - but, understandably, hardly at all in Cambridge!
OXFORD ROWING -
The next college race with a foreign crew was the famous one between Queen's College and the Lady Margaret Boat
Club at Henley in 1837.
As it was found to be impossible to arrange an Inter-University race, it was agreed that the head boats in the Eights at Oxford and Cambridge should row against each other at Henley. A difficulty, however, arose through Christ Church, who were head of the Isis, finding it impossible to get leave to race. They solved the difficulty by taking off on the last night of the Eights, so that Queen's represented Oxford in their stead.
The race is important for another reason, as it possibly suggested the idea to the inhabitants of Henley of starting the regatta, which was first held two years later.
A full account of the race is given in the Oxford Herald, which we insert:
GRAND MATCH BETWEEN OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE, JUNE 10, 1837.
This match was decided on Saturday at Henley. The visitors were equally numerous with those of the contest in 1829. Opinion was greatly in favour of Cambridge, in consequence of the much talked of talents of the crew [the St. John's (Lady Margaret)], who were at the head of the twenty-three eight-oars their competitors, and the reputed excellence of their boat. Until Friday afternoon the odds were greatly in favour of Cambridge ; but when the Oxford rowers had been seen practising at Henley, the betting became even, and in some cases it was in favour of Oxford.
In our last, we stated that the Christ Church rowers had withdrawn their boat, which on Monday evening had recovered its long-standing priority. At the race on Wednesday, Queen's boat became victor ; which decided that it should compete with the Cambridge boat at Henley. It is impossible to speak too highly of the excellence of the crew of Queen's. The names are as follows:
Steersman : Berkeley.
These gentlemen appeared to have been formed for the boat, and the boat for them. All seemed perfection itself.
They left Oxford at noon on Friday in a barouche, the horses of which were decorated with ribbons. The boat had previously been sent to the scene of action. This beautiful vessel was built by Mr. T. King of this city, on whom it reflects the highest credit. Its excellence has become the theme of general eulogy ; its superiority has been proved by repeated trials with several boats sent to Oxford by the very first London makers, and it is acknowledged by all parties to be the very best that ever floated on the Isis.
At four on Saturday afternoon the rival vessels left Henley Bridge for the place of starting, two miles and a half below, hailed by the shouts of an immense assemblage of spectators. Cambridge won the choice of sides, and of course took the inner the most advantageous, as there is a considerable turn in the river in the first half-mile.
On the word 'Off!' being given, the start took place, and even during the first ten strokes it was clearly perceptible to the meanest capacity that Oxford was gaining on its opponent, although Oxford was pulling a very long stroke, and Cambridge using the spurting or quick one.
In less than a quarter of a mile from the bridge the stern of the Oxford boat was level with the bow of the Cambridge, when Mr. Berkeley gave the word. 'Away with her!' And immediately on passing the island at the bottom of the beautiful reach, the Oxford shot ahead at least 100 yards. From this point they gradually increased the advantage, and won by about 150 yards with perfect ease, the crew not being in the slightest degree distressed. The crew of the Cambridge, on the contrary, appeared in a state of exhaustion, marked by painful anhelation, when they shipped their oars.
The triumphant crew were immediately hailed by the flag of victory, which Mr. Randall had brought from Oxford with a most confident anticipation of the actual result The distance, as we have before stated, was about two and a half miles ; the time, fourteen minutes. The dresses of the crew were much admired. Wearing their emblems of victory, the crew and the Oxford visitors set off on their return home, and the road presented a most animating (and animated ?) scene, they being hailed by all who saw them, the inhabitants of every village appearing to feel a strong interest in the much talked of contest.
When the issue became generally known here, it was determined by the crews of the other Oxford boats to present Queen's with some testimony of the great pleasure they derived from the victory ; and Mr. Randall, of the High Street, who had supplied the handsome dresses of the crew, and the handkerchiefs and rosettes worn by the Oxford men who were present at the match, was requested to make as splendid a flag by Tuesday as the time would admit of.
This was done, and on that evening the flag was attached to the stern of the victor boat, amidst shouts of applause, after which it headed a procession of nearly all the racing boats, decorated with their various flags, to Iffley and back.
On returning to Christ Church Meadow, the crew of the Queen's boat pulled in with precisely the same stroke as they had used at Henley. The crews of the other boats stopped, and standing up, with all their oars raised, saluted the conquerors with loud cheers, which salutation was responded to by a very large assemblage of spectators on the banks of the river, who imagined that it was directed to themselves.