Tim's One Photograph a Day

Fenny Compton Tunnel – That Isn’t!

Fenny Compton Tunnel.

Fenny Compton Tunnel: Cruising through the long straight.

Cruising through the long straight.

The Oxford Canal on the whole winds its way through the countryside, keeping to the contours as much as possible. However, Fenny Compton Tunnel is a bit of an exception.

This was a section where the canal was originally tunnelled into a small hill. At around three quarters of a mile long, though, it created a serious bottleneck. There was no towpath. Instead of the normal method of “legging”, rings were mounted in the wall so that boatmen could pull the boats through.

However, being only the width of one boat, delays were caused. Eventually, in 1838, the canal company purchased the land above Fenny Compton Tunnel. Initially, a section in the centre was de-roofed and widened out. This created two separate, shorter tunnels, with a passing place in the middle.

Subsequently, the remaining tunnels were opened out. Although the channel remained the same width, the addition of a towpath meant boats could be horse drawn for the whole length, thus speeding up the journey considerably. The towpath changes sides part way along. A “turnover” bridge was added to accommodate this.

As can been seen from the camera settings, the light was not great when this shot of Fenny Compton Tunnel was taken. In fact, it was also raining. To account for the rather drab lighting, once again I have applied an HDR setting. It is a style that seems to suit canal based photography.

Photograph Details:

  • Taken: 24 Oct 2017
  • Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10 MkIIA
  • Lens: Olympus 40-150mm 1:3.5-5.6
  • Focal Length 145mm
  • F/5.6
  • 1/60 Sec
  • ISO 800

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