An earlier start this morning and Osney Lock was still on Self Service so having negotiated that we headed down river passed the riverside houses and through Folly Bridge with the trip boats still moored below it.
Traveling through Christchurch Meadow we soon came to the University Boat houses, very impressive and must have cost a fortune to build and maintain. However the narrowboat moored/ abandoned on the opposite bank looked very sad in its semi sunken state. A real shame to see a boat like this.
The approach to Iffley Lock is very attractive with the stone bridge over the canoe route.
The river takes a wide sweep around Lower Radley and up on the hill can be seen Nuneham House. It is a Palladian villa and was built for Simon Harcourt, 1st Earl Harcourt in 1756. It is owned by Oxford University and is currently used as a retreat centre by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. During World War II, Nuneham House and the park around it was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence and became RAF Nuneham Park. It was a P.R.I.U. or photographic reconnaissance interpretation unit.
On the opposite bank is a lovely property, Pumney Farm
As we approached Abingdon Lock the Trip boat from Oxford caught us up and overtook just before the lock. No problem as we were stopping for water just before the lock.
Arriving at Abingdon the moorings were all taken except for a couple by the bridge, not ideal but ok. However just as we had moored two Dutch barges left the mooring by the Swimming Pool so we beat a hasty retreat to the other river bank and moored up in a great spot close to the town.
After lunch we went to have a look around town and the first port of call was the Town Hall an impressive building in the market place. It is now a museum and has only been reopened for 2 years after a £3 million refit. They have made a superb job with beautiful oak flooring. It was built in the 17th century and was originally the County Hall for Berkshire but in 1974 it was moved in to Oxfordshire. The museum has some excellent exhibits including an MG sports car lifted into the building by crane and slid in sideways through a window. Abingdon was originally the home of MG.
.You can go up onto the roof of the building and this gives a different and special view of Abingdon and the surrounding countryside including the Market Place, Saint Helen’s Church, Abbey Gate, and the Prison.
In the distance can be seen the iconic Cooling Towers of Dicot Power Station one of which was in the news this week as it was to be taken down at night and locals wanted to see it fall so were campaigning for it to be done in the early morning.