Images from a Historic Building Recording Survey at Osney Bridge, Botley Road, Oxford, December 2021 to May 2022

Stantec UK, 2022. https://doi.org/10.5284/1100073. How to cite using this DOI

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https://doi.org/10.5284/1100073
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Stantec UK (2022) Images from a Historic Building Recording Survey at Osney Bridge, Botley Road, Oxford, December 2021 to May 2022 [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1100073

Data copyright © Stantec UK unless otherwise stated

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Resource identifiers

Digital Object Identifiers

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are persistent identifiers which can be used to consistently and accurately reference digital objects and/or content. The DOIs provide a way for the ADS resources to be cited in a similar fashion to traditional scholarly materials. More information on DOIs at the ADS can be found on our help page.

Citing this DOI

The updated Crossref DOI Display guidelines recommend that DOIs should be displayed in the following format:

https://doi.org/10.5284/1100073
Sample Citation for this DOI

Stantec UK (2022) Images from a Historic Building Recording Survey at Osney Bridge, Botley Road, Oxford, December 2021 to May 2022 [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1100073

Introduction

Osney Bridge, facing north
Osney Bridge, facing north

This collection comprises images from a Built Heritage Assessment at Osney Bridge, Botley Road, Oxford. This work was undertaken by Stantec UK between December 2021 and May 2022 on instruction from Thames Water Limited prior to repair works.

Osney Bridge is a cast-iron and masonry structure, which spans the River Thames carrying Botley Road and its associated pedestrian and vehicular traffic; the bridge also carries a Thames Water pipeline which supplies the City of Oxford with water. In 2021, the pipeline was damaged after being struck by a barge, resulting in it leaking.

Osney Bridge was built in 1888 as a cast-iron arch bridge with six ribs, affixed to stone abutments of finely dressed stone, by the Oxford Local Board. The contractors were W.J. McKenzie, Wandsworth, London (for the stone abutments) and the Horseley Company of Tipton, Staffordshire (for the ironwork). In 1932, the bridge was subject to alteration during the installation of the Swinford Pipeline, a 27" diameter cast-iron water pipeline, which was laid along Botley Road from 1931 onwards. The north fa├žade of the bridge was dismantled and rebuilt 6 feet 3 inches (1.91m) further north to accommodate the new pipe, which was reduced to a 24" steel pipe at the river crossing and over top of the western overflow tunnels.

A full Historic England Level 2 survey of bridge was carried out and the complete archive of digital photographs from this survey is included in this collection. Based on the survey, the bridge is considered to be of local significance due to its aesthetic, historical, communal and evidential values. Whilst the bridge is not considered rare or unique, it is a good example of a late 19th century cast-iron bridge. The bridge has been slightly compromised by alterations in the 20th century (removal of lamps from piers, for example) but the form of the original bridge survives largely intact, and the survey has demonstrated that sufficient of the bridge's fabric is present to provide a reasonably firm understanding of its development and function.

The original architectural form and grandeur of the bridge conveys the prominence and influence of Oxford, and there are links between the bridge and the University and City, represented by its links with the Oxford Local Board. Further study of the association of the Board with the bridge may also increase its significance through association. The historical links with the board also extend to the individuals who were prominent in the construction of the bridge (W.H. White, as City Engineer, for example) and the bridge has connections with a number of renowned companies which were involved in its construction, such as W.J McKenzie and the Horseley Company of Tipton, or who supplied its materials, such as Walter Macfarlane of the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow.

The bridge retains an intrinsic aesthetic appeal and forms an important part of the historic character of Osney. The bridge has artistic merit in terms of these aesthetic qualities, and adds interest and charm to the area, through the unusual and attractive design of its facades. In this respect the bridge makes a positive contribution to the area and provides value to both visual character and contextual understanding of the area as recognised by its inclusion in the Osney Town Conservation Area; it also forms a prominent landmark and approach to the City of Oxford and is a key part of one of the main arterial routes into the city, and as such has strong value to the community it serves. Historically this has always been an important routeway, and the crossing point has links to the medieval Osney Abbey extending through to the creation of Botley Causeway in the 16th century, and the subsequent turnpiking of the route in the 18th century; there have been bridges at this point from at least the 17th century or earlier, and at least two earlier bridges were located at this crossing point. Only limited research into the bridge was undertaken and there remains the potential for further advancement of understanding of the history of the bridge through more detailed research. Whilst evidential survival of the earlier bridges is not expected, the current Osney Bridge has strong evidential value in relation to its original construction and use.


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