SP5077 : Water Lily pads on the Brownsover Arm

taken 2 months ago, near to Cosford, Warwickshire, Great Britain

Water Lily pads on the Brownsover Arm
Water Lily pads on the Brownsover Arm
This tranquil stretch of the disused Brownsover Arm of the Oxford Canal features numerous rafts of water lily (Nymphaeaceae) pads; it's a pity they weren't in bloom as they have beautiful flowers that float on the water.
Brownsover Arm of Oxford Canal

The disused Brownsover Arm of the Oxford Canal is still in water though too shallow for narrowboats to navigate, and I think access to it is barred (possibly by a weir) at its junction with the main Oxford Canal.
It departs from (or joins onto) the Oxford Canal at SP50767711 just south of the village of Brownsover and heads northwards terminating at Cosford, though originally I believe this formed part of the Oxford Canal itself and so would have continued on, but even the oldest maps do not show this.
This stretch of canal was retained to feed water from the River Swift, and nowadays the towpath leads into the scenic Swift Valley Nature Reserve (see LinkExternal link )

The Oxford Canal

The 78 mile Oxford Canal links Oxford with the Coventry Canal near Bedworth, via Banbury and Rugby. It connects to the River Thames at Oxford, and even combines with the Grand Union Canal for 5 miles near Braunston.

The canal was constructed in stages over about twenty years from 1769 to 1790. James Brindley surveyed and began the work with Samuel Simcock, but following Brindley's death, Simcock took over. By 1774 the canal had reached Napton, and by 1778, Banbury. Lack of money meant that the final stretch to Oxford was not started until 1786. That took three years and the completed canal was finally opened on 1 January 1790.

Being an early canal, it was built to be contour hugging, avoiding changes of water level wherever possible. As a result of increasing competition from the Grand Union Canal, by the late 1820s it was decided that the meandering course needed reducing in mileage, so the northern section was to be reduced by more than 14 miles. Construction, supervised by Sir William Cubitt, started in 1829, and was finished by 1834. A parallel doubling up of the lock flight at Hillmorton was built and the route was straightened in many places, and a new tunnel at Newbold was dug. Not all the planned improvements were made; the final reduction in mileage being nearer 11 miles.
Evidence of the original course can still be seen by perusing aerial images and OS 1:25000 maps. The section south of Napton was never straightened. The railways had arrived and canal decline had started.

Information reduced from Wikipedia LinkExternal link

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SP5077, 126 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Sunday, 30 May, 2021   (more nearby)
Thursday, 3 June, 2021
Geographical Context
Wild Animals, Plants and Mushrooms  Canals 
Canal (from Tags)
Brownsover Arm (Oxford Canal) 
Plant (from Tags)
Water Lily 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 5064 7774 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:23.7207N 1:15.4332W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 5065 7771
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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Image Type (about): geograph 
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