Bablock Hythe is a small hamlet in Oxfordshire, situated 5 miles (8 km) west of Oxford city centre. There was formerly an important vehicle ferry across the River Thames at Bablock Hythe on the reach above Pinkhill Lock.
The earliest reference to a ferry is in 1279 and later ferries continued to provide a crossing service until the mid-20th century. The ferry was a wide-beamed ferry punt with a rope or chain in the river, which presented something of a hazard to navigation. There was also an ancient inn, The Chequers, described by William Senior in his Royal River in the 1880s. This was rebuilt in the early 1990s and renamed The Ferry Inn and later The Ferryman.
- Thee, at the ferry, Oxford riders blithe,
- Returning home on summer nights, have met
- Crossing the stripling Thames at Bablock-hithe
- Trailing in the cool stream thy fingers wet
- As the slow punt swings round.
- Fred. S. Thacker: The Thames Highway: Volume II Locks and Weirs (1920, republished 1968 by David & Charles).
- Christopher Winn: I Never Knew That about the River Thames (London: Ebury Press, 2010), p. 39.
- Paul Goldsack River Thames: In the Footsteps of the Famous (Bradt/English Heritage 2003).
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