Total Pageviews

Thursday 12 October 2023

At the Walls of Jericho.

 It seemed to rain on and off through the night. I remember waking about 05:00 and not hearing rain, but hearing an owl. There was an occasional train, sounded like freight, not passenger. By the time We had finished our breakfast it had stopped raining but was very dank and gloomy.

We didn't see the sun all day, but it didn't rain and we had a good road. There was little wind so it wasn't too bad, so with the occasional cup of tea and a bit of exercise at the locks it wasn't cold at all.

Just before Enslow Mill was this what looks like an old canal warehouse. From the old OS maps it seems to have been built about the 1880's and was attached to an old wharf that was next to the Rock of Gibraltar pub. Coal trade was been undertaken here by Mssrs. Churchill and Baker in 1798!

No need to hunt the board at Baker's Lock as they have the posh auto gauge for you to view. We are in green, and two boats had just come up too so we were all systems got for our River Cherwell Passage.

This is where the canal and river merge. There was very little flow today, but as the canal is very 'bendy' it can cause problems.

When we got to the end of the river section I left Helen in charge of the boat as I was hearing cries from Shipton Weir Lock. The boat we had seen before with a newly wed couple aboard their hire boat were having trouble getting the lower gate open. This is another diamond shaped lock with single paddles at each end, and cranked beams. It was very difficult to get the gate started. The couple kindly stopped and helped us through, and then lets us go on ahead.

When I first saw this I thought that it may be a lime kiln but it turns out to be the bridge of the Woodstock Branch Line. The photo above is taken from almost under the GWR rail bridge. For some reason the Woodstock and Blenheim Branch was opened in 1897 but, despite being operated by the GWR, ran on a separate line from here as they didn't want to make a junction. It closed in 1954.

This seems to be a usual type of canal bridge on the lower South Oxford Canal.

It certainly feels like autumn is in the air today, and it seems that the leaves are just starting to turn. We may get a frost on Sunday and I expect there will be a good leaf fall soon after.

I spotted another stone post that looked like it could bean old milepost, but this one had four holes that looked as though it may have held a plate with the numbers on, rather than being carved into the stone itself. However I couldn't see any sign of a milepost on the maps.

We stopped for water after the lift bridge and before Duke's Lock. As we penned down we could see the Duke's Cut heading off to the right and the Duke's Lock House watching over the locks and junction.

The trip into Oxford from here is lined with Agenda 21 moorings. It seems that these are moorings for people living an ecological lifestyle and are at least in part administered by themselves. Not the most attractive run of moorings that you will come across. Then every now and then there are lengths of no mooring as it is said they are conservation areas. I didn't spot any water voles, but I suspect that is what they areas are for.

We had resigned ourselves to having to pen down Isis Lock to wind and come back along the canal towards Wolvercote, but we found a few free moorings before the end opposite Jericho Wharf. The development there hasn't changed from when we were here in 2016! It is nice to hear the tinkling bells of St. Barnabus Church though. Once tied up we got changed and went for a walk into town. We did a survey of the shops has Helen was getting withdrawal symptoms so had a skeg through some, and spent some money in the much missed (from Hull) M&S, had a beer and then tea at Ask before heading home. I suspect that there will be more shopping now we have the lay of the land. I must check out some good pubs so that I can have a sit whilst she has a browse tomorrow.


Pip and Mick said...

The Bookbinders Arms just near the church in Jericho is well worth a visit, especially for food.


NB Oleanna

NB Holderness said...

Hi Both, Thanks, we went there for a drink last time we visited. It was quiz night so we thought we would join in. We should have known better, with it being Oxford, we didn't understand many of the questions, never mind answer many of them!