SECTION 30

LOWERFIELD FARM CROSSING TO SHRIVENHAM ARCH BRIDGE (B4000 STATION RD)

STATUS
Most of this site is available for restoration

Length:1.25km/0.78M.
O.S. Reference: 226879 to 238879
Water Level height A.O.D.: 89.651m  

Features:
  • Bourton Wharf 226879
  • Steppingstone Lane Bridge 235870
  • Shrivenham Arch Bridge 238879
MAP

DESCRIPTION

What Jack Dalby said in 1985.
"....the bed is almost clear..."

Probable deviation of about 200 metres where the road has been diverted east of Lowerfield Farm Crossing. Presumably this was the site of Bourton Wharf.

Up to Steppingstone Lane Bridge the bed was unfilled but silted and overgrown.
It has since been cleared and dredged, over a period of years - the work was not straightforward.

 
Steppingstones Lane 

Bridge
Steppingstone Lane Bridge
The bridge carries a public bridleway, which was once the main road south from Shrivenham.
During 2002 the bridleway was diverted onto a bund alongside, and clearance of the structure is well advanced.
The channel has been cleared down to the invert, which is in excellent condition below the water.
The lower parts of the spandrel walls are now visible. An interesting feature is that the north spandrel brickwork has been laid on a slope, presumably to reflect the slope of the roadway. The south spandrels are laid horizontally.
Part of the headwall of the pipe which was put in when the bridge was lowered is still in place.
 
Photograph taken 24.4.2004

 
The bridge in early 2012, apparently awaiting coping stones.
The carriageway has been surfaced but not yet opened, and the bund carrying the temporaary roadway is still in place.

From Steppingstone Lane Bridge to Station Road Bridge the Canal, originally overgrown and silted up, has been cleared and dredged, but has subsequently suffered from vigorous reed growth.

Station Road Bridge
An original Wilts & Berks bridge, although the station was not built until the 1840s.
It is a crossover bridge - the towpath from the west passes under the north side of the bridge, the horse would then have walked over the bridge and rejoined the towpath on the south side going east.
The towpath under the bridge appears to be intact but the bridge channel is completely infilled.

Photograph taken 24.4.2004
View towards Station Road Bridge

RIGHT OF WAY

There is a proposed right of way from Station Road to Steppingstones Lane Bridge. The original towpath was on the north side of the canal, currently heavily overgrown. It is planned to reinstate this in due course.

WATER SUPPLIES

No reliable supplies. The section relies on drainage from the surrounding land and such water as comes through the culvert under Lowerfield Farm Crossing.

HOSTELRIES

The Victoria, 300 yds. south from Shrivenham Arch Bridge. Now re-named The Fat Dog. Not sampled recently.
Further away, there is a choice of 4 pubs in the centre of Shrivenham.

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Updated: 29.1.2012