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Swinford Toll Bridge

SWYNFORD BRIDGE is in the parish of Cumnor and the Vale of White Horse; it was transferred from Berkshire to Oxfordshire in 1974.

Nonetheless, it holds a key place in Eynsham consciousness - an iconic image, a notorious bottle-neck, or both. Photographers and artists have endless 'takes' on it (below, aerial video filmed on 27 March 2022 by Gary Douglas), while campaigns to scrap the tolls or set up smarter payment systems continue.

The original ferry belonged to the abbot of Abingdon: Eynsham Abbey paid bread and beer to the ferryman while Abingdon paid 1s/ year to use the Eynsham river bank.

The bridge was opened in 1769 and the tolls have been entirely free of tax ever since. You can download a detailed chronology below. We have a centenary note on the single-deck bus shown in the gallery.

Swinford bridge was sold by auction for £1,08m in 2009; yet the charges are still the lowest in the country. Charity collections are held on public holidays.

Repairs to the road surface and bridge structure itself are ongoing concerns.


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