Oxford's rail swing bridge to be renovated

A dilapidated rail swing bridge in Oxford is to be renovated through a £90,000 grant from a heritage fund.

The listed structure was built in 1850 by the Buckinghamshire Railway backed by the London and North Western.

The hand-operated swing bridge was used to take trains across the Sheepwash Channel, which links the River Thames and the Oxford Canal.

It fell out of use in 1944 and is currently on the English Heritage "At Risk" Register.

Money 'essential'

The money for its restoration is coming from the Wren heritage fund.

A spokesman for the fund said the bridge was the last significant hand-operated mainline rail swing bridge in the UK.

The money will also be spent on making the area more accessible and appealing to visitors.

Jacquie Martinez, from the Oxford Preservation Trust, said the grant was essential for the successful restoration of the bridge.

The former train station that stood near the bridge was moved piece by piece and reconstructed at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton in 2000.

Oxford University's Saïd Business School now stands on the site.

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