"The light blue of the canal boat is an unusual colour to find and offers useful contrast to the green trees and grass. The sun and disappearing tow path add atmosphere." J J Marshall
URBANPIX CAPTION for this Oxford card:
The Oxford Canal was one of the earliest and most important canals in southern England. It travels 48 miles to Napton Bottom (where it joins the Grand Union Canal) via Duke’s Cut, Lower Heyford, Aynho Wharf, Banbury and Fenny Compton Wharf, and another 29 miles to Hawkesbury Junction with the Coventry Canal, a total of 77 miles. The canal was authorised in 1769 but didn’t reach Oxford until 1790. It was built to bring coal from Warwickshire to Oxford and the River Thames and thence to London and for awhile was an important trade route. By the late 1820s however, its extravagant winding course became out of date and the company modernised the northern part. By the use of aqueducts, cuttings and embankments, it cut almost 14 miles off the length but left the old loops going nowhere and eventually they weeded up. The canal continued to be profitable through to the 20th century but like all the others lost out to competition to the railways. Today there is no trade on the canals but the Oxford Canal remains one of the most popular for cruising, fishing and walking.
Oxford Canal can be reached from Hythe Bridge Street and it is a pleasant walk from there to Jericho, Port Meadow and Wolvercote.