Thursday 20 December 2012

Old Culham Bridge

The bridge takes the old Henley Road over Swift Ditch now it is a footpath with some history. Swift ditch was dug as a bypass for the Thames at Abingdon where back in the middle ages it was full of reefs and shallows that the barges going upstream had trouble negotiating. Once Swift Ditch was done the barged stopped nearby and goods where transfered to smaller ones which would have been built and stored in the basin in front. There was also a civil war skirmish here between the Royalists and Roundheads you can see the plaque on the bridge. During the second war there were two pillboxs built on it as well and you can see the outline of the bases still there.  It was also a toll bridge and the old house is still there over to the right.

The Ditch is a shadow of it's former self now and the bridge was bypassed in the 1920s leaving an historic bridge very few people see.

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