"Freshman's River" probably an old Mouth of the Cherwell (blocked)
RIGHT, east, bank north of Donnington Road Bridge.
Left and Right banks are now identified as going UPSTREAM (See [About] above)
1906: G.E.Mitton -
The Eights, which take place in the middle of the summer term, are the event of the year to Oxford, and intensely exciting they may be. The lowest boat starts from the lasher above Iffley, and the course ends at Salter's Barge. But the crux of the whole matter often lies in The Gut, and much depends on the ability of the cox to steer a clean course, as to whether his boat is bumped or bumps. As the boats in cutting the curve below this crucial point come diagonally at it, disaster here often overtakes a crew which has before been doing well. The [now blocked mouth of] the Cherwell is navigable only in a canoe and by good luck; but the tale is told that one cox, in his first year, being excited beyond reason, mistook it for the main channel, and, steering right ahead, landed his crew high and dry on the shoals. Hence the name, the Freshman's River.
[ The 'lasher above Iffley' may be puzzling. 'Lasher' is a type of weir. But Iffley Lock was totally rebuilt in 1924 - and before that there was a weir on the LEFT bank above the lock. See Iffley Lock for map. ]