Monday, November 20, 2006

Lower Wolvercote Toll Bridge

This is a bridge that cross once or twice a week, today I stopped on the way back to the office as the water was higher than normal, and decided to atke a photo of it. When I got home i googled the Bridge at Lower Wolvercote, and found the following, which I think is interesting.

Toll Bridge, immediately west of Lower Wolvercote, was so called in the earlier 16th century, presumably from tolls collected there for Godstow's fair. About 1540 it was called Stone Bridge. The bridge was rebuilt in the 16th or 17th century, of five arches, a large one in the middle and two smaller ones at either end; the work may have been carried out soon after the Dissolution, for Anthony Wood remembered a song about the breaking of Godstow bridge and cross beginning 'Godstow bridge is broken down'; the cross stood at Toll Bridge. The central arch of Toll Bridge was rebuilt in 1796 at the duke of Marlborough's expense; in 1876 the whole bridge was demolished and rebuilt by the county council, an attempt to force the University, as owners of Wolvercote mill, to carry out repairs having failed.

Wolvercote was the scene of an early flying accident in 1912 when two officers of the Royal Flying Corps were killed near Toll Bridge. They are commemorated by a large marble plaque at the north-east end of the bridge. An airfield was built on the north end of Port Meadow during the First World War, and the site was used for a short time in the Second World War as a military camp.

From: 'Wolvercote: Introduction', A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12: Wootton Hundred (South) including Woodstock (1990), pp. 304-11. URL: Date accessed: 20 November 2006.

And I thought it was just a bridge! It is a Bridge with History!

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