Walton Well Road
The road marks the northern edge of the district known as Jericho. At the eastern end is the north end of Walton Street and the south end of Kingston Road at the junction with St Bernard's Road. The western end is reached by a bridge (Walton Well Road Bridge) spanning the Oxford Canal and also the railway line. Here there is access to Port Meadow and the Thames Path, with a car park run by Oxford City Council. About halfway along the road is a junction with Longworth Road and Southmoor Road. To the south, between the canal and the railway line, a new residential road, William Lucy Way, was developed around 2006, on the other side of the Oxford Canal from the former Lucy's Eagle Ironworks site. To the south are modern residential apartments on the former site of the Eagle Ironworks, St Sepulchre's Cemetery and beyond that Juxon Street.
The road is on the site of a spring known as Walton Well (or Bruman's Well) At the location of the spring, there is a drinking fountain in the road, with a plaque dated 1885. It was erected by William Ward, who was Mayor of Oxford in 1851 and 1861. The fountain was designed by the architect Harry Wilkinson Moore and carved in Portland stone by McCulloch of London.
The road is important historically because not only did it lead to Port Meadow, but it was also used as a short cut to Binsey, Medley, and Wytham via a ford, called Walton Ford or Walton Well Ford.
The Oxford Canal reached the outskirts of Oxford in 1789, when a coal wharf was opened at Heyfield Hutt, now the site of Hayfield Road to the north of Walton Well Road. The final section into central Oxford was ceremonially opened on 1 January 1790; it needed a bridge to be built over it to maintain the link to Port Meadow. The canal led to the industrialization of the area. In the 19th century, there was a basin and Walton Well hard for boats from the canal at Walton Well Road near the junction with Longworth Road.
On the south side of the street for many years was the historic Eagle Ironworks (aka Lucy's), first established on this site by the Oxford Canal in 1825. The area has now been redeveloped as flats by Berkeley Homes, after an archaeological evaluation. During the archaeological excavation, a 17th-century pit and a possible 19th-century well were discovered to the rear of 25 Walton Well Road.
The Cotswold Line railway next to the Oxford Canal was opened in 1851. In the 1850s, a railway station was planned at Walton Well. A railway line to Brentford in west London was proposed by the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway from this station, across the parish of St Giles, just north of the present Bevington Road and Norham Gardens. The plan never materialized.
The houses on Walton Well Road were built between 1873 and 1897. Many were designed by the architect H. W. Moore (who also designed the fountain in the street mentioned earlier) in the 1880s, some in collaboration with William Wilkinson. No. 2 Walton Well Road, an imposing double-fronted residence, was the house of the ironmaster at the adjacent Lucy's foundry.
Squatters moved into the area during the 1960s and 1970s, and have been dubbed 'Waltons'.
Entrance to Lucy's Ironworks on Walton Well Road.
Walton Well Road Bridge over the Oxford Canal.
Bridge over the Oxford Canal at Walton Well Road.
The Oxford Canal south from Walton Well Road.
Walton Well Road car park by Port Meadow.
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