Ox­ford bridges get a lift


Canal Boat - - News -

SIX OF THE Grade II listed black and white tim­ber lift­bridges which are a char­ac­ter­is­tic fea­ture of the south­ern Ox­ford Canal are to be given a facelift in a £1m project that will last three years.

The lift­bridges were used by en­gi­neer James Brind­ley’s suc­ces­sor Sa­muel Sim­cock as a cheaper al­ter­na­tive to the more tra­di­tional brick arch bridge af­ter the canal com­pany ran short of money.

The restora­tion work, be­ing un­der­taken by the Canal & River Trust, started with Chis­nell Lift­bridge (no. 193) near Anyho and in­cluded re­pairs to the brick and stonework, re­build­ing walls and work to fill the nu­mer­ous holes and voids. The other bridges to be re­paired over the next three years in­clude: Drinkwa­ters Lift­bridge ( No. 231, pic­tured) and Wolver­cote Lift­bridge (233) Ship­ton Lift­bridge (219) near Ship­ton on Cher­well Caravan Lift­bridge (215) near Enslow Had­dons Lift­bridge (173) near Ban­bury “These bridges have a fas­ci­nat­ing story be­hind them and, while they may not be as the en­gi­neers orig­i­nally in­tended, they are unique to this par­tic­u­lar canal. The orig­i­nal canal builders set out with grand de­signs but un­for­tu­nately they ran out of money and had to change their plans,” said CRT’s Charles Baker. “It’s a clas­sic tale of mak­ing-do and as a re­sult they used a com­bi­na­tion of brick, stone and oak which hasn’t aged as well as the more tra­di­tional brick arch bridge.”

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