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Stoppages on the Oxford Canal

A map of the Oxford Canal

The map displays a range of services available on the Oxford Canal. Simply click the box next to any service being displayed in the Map Key on the left of your screen.

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Boat Yards
Marinas
Winding Holes
Lock
Bridge
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A brief history of the Oxford Canal

Canal Details
Canal length : 76.3 miles
Locks : 41
Boat Length : 70ft
Height : 6ft 9ins
Width : 7ft ins

The Oxford Canal took 20 years to build and finally opened on the 1st January 1790. For 15 years the canal was very profitable as it provided the main route between Birmingham and London

The Grand Junction Canal (now called the Grand Union Canal) was opened in 1805 and provided a faster route that avoided the River Thames. This heralded the decline of the Oxford Canal.

During the construction several design decisions were taken in order to keep down the costs. These were the use of deep locks with single gates instead of double and the use of swing bridges instead of more expensive brick ones. This made the canal more difficult to navigate and the consequences of these decisions are still being felt today.

The Oxford Canal Company and the Grand Junction Canal Company were bitter rivals. The building of a canal required an Act of Parliament and while this was being considered, the Oxford Canal Company successfully argued that the Grand Junction Company should pay "bar tolls" in order to compensate for the loss of traffic.

Traffic from Birmingham on the Grand Junction shared a 5 mile section of the Oxford Canal and the Oxford Canal Company took advantage of this by charging high tolls to boats travelling along the Grand Junction.

For more detailed information, follow the links below: