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Date:   Friday 9th March 2018

Index:   Central Area

Map:   Go to OS Map

HS2 route plan: Sheet 32

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Last Chance (HS)To See:

Trafford Bridge

Standing next to the 'Edgcote Viaduct' at Trafford Bridge on a late Winter's day

In a few years time, where I am standing now will be over-shadowed by the bed of the proposed HS2 'Edgcote Viaduct'. This is an ancient site, where the old Portway track from the Thames Valley to the East Midlands crosses a narrow point in the Cherwell Valley.

scene 001 map I've walked from Chipping Warden, around the edge of Edgcote, here to Trafford Bridge. I'll follow the ancient Portway south from here cross-country. Whichever way you go, this is an excellent sport to take a break, perched on the rough railings next to the river bank.

It is so quiet here.

Even though it's just after noon on a weekday, there's little traffic other than a few passing delivery vans.

Quiet, that is, except the birds – from the calling of buzzards and crows, to the hammering of a woodpecker on a nearby tree.

Today the River Cherwell is swollen by the meltwater from the recent snow, it's colour a turgid brown from the sediment washed from the fields. In Summer the ground all around is a thicket of vegetation, with a myriad of insects buzzing around. And in the clearer, shallower water of Summer, you can see fish and aquatic insects.

Trafford Bridge itself is an 18th Century structure, which replaced the earlier Medieval structure. The crossing point, a pinch between two fingers of raised ground, that has likely been used since the settlement of the area in the Bonze Age.

Now there is to be a new crossing; in the sky above.