Abingdon Lock on the River Thames
Abingdon Lock's history is as fascinating as it gets. There are remains of an lock constructed around 1624. It is the oldest surviving lock chamber in the UK, and possibly Europe.
This ancient lock - now acting as a weir - is near the top of the Swift Ditch, a meandering stream that by-passes the town of Abingdon to the south. You can still see the old brick chamber at the head of the Swift Ditch.
Today you can see big cruisers with flying bridges, Dutch barges and passenger steamers along with the popular narrow boats and small powered craft using the river. But in the 17th and 18th centuries, when the Thames formed a main trade route to and from London, you would be more likely to see horse-drawn and sailing barges carrying grain, timber and coal.
Did you know?
In 1819, Bushey Eyot (a small island near Bushey) was bought by the Thames Commissioners, as they wanted to build a lock house on it. The present lock house is the second to occupy this site - it was built in 1928 by the Thames Conservancy.
Telephone: +44 (0)1235 523044
Postcode: OX14 3NW
Find out more about the Abingdon Lock facilities.
Explore the beautiful, relaxing and inspiring
Whether you fancy a day out with the family, a romantic getaway with your loved one or you simply want to explore the Thames' history, we've got an idea to suit you.
Why not spend some time with your loved one. The River Thames has lots to offer, whether you want to enjoy a romantic evening out or a relaxing weekend away.
There are loads of ways to enjoy the River Thames with your family - we've come up with lots of ideas to keep your little ones entertained!