Tim's One Photograph a Day

The Site of the Former Oxford Canal Basin.

Oxford Canal Basin.

Oxford Canal Basin: Will boats ever navigate here again?

Will boats ever navigate here again?

It is hard to believe that this site was once the scene of bustling activity. Boats being loaded and unloaded at Oxford Canal Basin.

Nowadays, the canal simply fizzles out. A stump going nowhere. Whereas originally, it came under the road (Hythe Bridge Street) where this photograph was taken, and terminated where the building with the spire is now. There was a turning basin and goods wharf where the car park is now, continuing under Worcester Street and terminating in a coal wharf.

As was so often the case, the railways took away the freight, and during the 1930s this site had been sold to Lord Nuffield. The waterway was filled in, and the Hythe Bridge Street bridge filled in. Nuffield College was built on the site of the former coal wharf.

Initially, all of this area was to have been part of the college. However, plans had to be scaled down due to budget and material shortages. The part of Oxford Canal Basin between the two roads became a “temporary” car park – a function that it still serves today.

With canals and boating becoming more and more popular, Oxford does not have the facilities. It is not making the most of its historical asset. It is difficult to comprehend that the canal into the City remains a stub that boaters tend to avoid. One wonders why there is no investment to bring a new Oxford Canal Basin back to the City as a thriving focal point.

Photograph Details:

  • Taken: 25 Sep 2017
  • Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10 MkIIA
  • Lens: Olympus 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6
  • Focal Length 14mm
  • F/5.6
  • 1/60 Sec
  • ISO 200

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