Thrupp is a pretty hamlet on the southern Oxford Canal whose origins go back to the early days of the canal when the navigation was finally extended south from Banbury to its terminus at Oxford.
When the last part of the Oxford Canal between Banbury and Oxford was built at the end of the eighteenth century, money was in short supply and everything possible was done to reduce construction costs. This resulted in locks with single bottom gates, a large number of moveable or lift bridges and the use of the river Cherwell for navigation in two places.
Thrupp’s row of canalside cottages between the Boat Inn and the service wharf were once the homes of families with links to the canal some of whom would possibly have worked in the canal maintainance yard on the other side of the lift bridge.
The Wide at Thrupp is actually the original course of the River Cherwell. The canal here turns at a right-angle on its way down to Oxford and there are plenty of benches where visitors can sit and watch the boats as they negotiate the bend and pass under the liftbridge next to the service wharf.
Above Shipton, a weir was built across the river to maintain a level and the surplus water was run into an artificial channel that runs alongside the Wide and then reconnects with the original line of the river further on.
The old yard at Thrupp has been renovated and is now the home of Annie’s Tea Rooms, you can hire a canoe or kayak here from Thrupp Canoe and Kayak Centre or during the warmer months a dayboat from Oxfordshire Narrowboats to explore the South Oxford Canal.
Free public parking is available behind the tearooms.
For the boater, the wharf provides access to water points, elsan disposal, pump out (self or card operated – please obtain cards from the TCCC warden), waste disposal and a glass bottle bank.
For the walker there are a number of well-signposted walks around in the area – look out for signs for Hampton Gay, Shipton on Cherwell and the circular walk to Kidlington.
For further information about the Parish visit the Shipton on Cherwell & Thrupp Parish Website