THE hidden route of the first railway line into Oxford has been revealed in an innovative trail.

Oxford historian Liz Woolley has put up 25 posters at people's homes, on bridges and at other locations around Grandpont in South Oxford.

Following the trail reveals the originally route of the old line into Oxford, which went through what is now Hinksey Park, along Marlborough Road and terminated at Oxford's first train station just south Folly Bridge.

Each poster tells stories of that location connected to the 1844 line from Didcot to Oxford.

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Among those who has had a historic poster stuck on their house is Grandpont resident Amanda Robson, who said she was delighted to discovered her home's Victorian connections.

She said: "I love trains and I was thrilled to discover that a railwayman, William Watts, used to live here.

"I’m looking forward to following the trail and finding out more about the history of the railway in New Hinksey and Grandpont."

Ms Woolley has created the railway trail as a side project ahead of major celebrations to mark the 175th anniversary of the Didcot-to-Oxford line on Saturday, June 15.

Oxford Mail:

Oxford's first ever train station at Granpont in 1852. Image © Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire History Centre, ref: D269243a

It will be just one day after the date the first ever train ran up the line into Oxford on June 14, 1844, which saw hundreds of people gather to watch and throw parties to mark the historic occasion.

June 15 this year will see events at every station along the line – Didcot, Appleford, Culham, Radley and Oxford – with vintage trains running up and down the tracks.

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Ahead of that Ms Woolley is urging locals to take the history trail, using a map which can be downloaded from a dedicated website, and learn the true stories of the landmark line.

The Grandpont resident, who previously created the beloved 66 Men of Grandpont history project, said: “On this trail people can discover the fascinating and hidden history of the first railway in Oxford.

"Using the map, search out all 25 information posters and retrace the original route of the railway to Oxford’s first station.

"You can discover how the railway influenced the development of the area and how it changed over time.

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"The trail also offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of some pioneering local residents who were associated with the railway."

She added: "The trail is suitable for all ages and is wheelchair accessible, so there is no excuse not to take advantage of the fine weather and spend an enjoyable hour or two travelling back in time."

The trail will be in place until June 30.

Maps are available from

For more information go to