The Cut was constructed at the request of the Duke of Marlborough, and opened in 1789 providing the first link from the Oxford Canal to the River Thames. The Cut was conveyed in trust to the Vice-Chancellor of the University and the Mayor of Oxford in 1792. An alternative connection between the two waterways was opened in 1796 at Isis Lock in the centre of Oxford. Duke's Cut remains a popular route for narrowboat users as it bypasses the last three urban miles of the canal in Oxford.
The Cut is joined from the Oxford Canal via a lock (Dukes Cut Lock) and then Dukes Bridge and another lock. The Cut resembles a river with willows and other trees along the route and joins the Thames at a triangular island which has King's Lock on the southern side and the weir towards Wolvercote on the northern side. There is a narrow towpath which follows the twists of the Cut between fields; this does not connect to the Thames Path, which is on the opposite bank of the River Thames.
|Next confluence upstream||River Thames||Next confluence downstream|
|River Evenlode (north)||Duke's Cut||Bulstake Stream (south)|