Oxford is a very watery place: encircled by rivers, criss-crossed by streams, perennially flood-prone. Its location has been defined by water, its destiny shaped by it. This is the (beginning of the) Story of Oxford in ten crossings – an abridged history you might say.

Do you recognise the bridges below? They are captioned with extracts from next month’s Story, where all the answers will be revealed.

The giant blocks of corallian ragstone which underpin it were hewn and levered into place nearly a thousand years ago.

The vital Thames crossing which marked the western approach to the city was heavily guarded and fortified.[Clue: it was originally on, or close to, the site of the bridge from where this picture is taken.]

… widened, lengthened, strengthened and gentrified in an eighteenth-century attempt to cleanse the streets of Oxford and make them ‘more commodious’.

For fifty years this was one of the busiest watercourses in the country, lugging pottery, slate, and, above all, coal from the Midlands to London – changing forever the destiny of Oxford.

The only movable bridge along the entire course of the River Thames – apart from Tower Bridge in London.

Spanned by a single slab of reinforced concrete 170 feet in length …

Written records of a ferry near here go back to 1279; and the imagined record stretches far further into the mists of deep time.

An incongruous bridge … one of the few concessions to Oxford’s cyclists.

One of the best known and most distinctive …

The most photographed bridge of all … curiously misnamed.

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