|Old Stratford Branch
A branch canal from Cosgrove to Old Stratford was approved as part of the Act of Parliament passed on the 30 April 1793.
In the original plans the canal was to run from Wolverton up the Great Ouse valley to the Watling Street (Roman Road) at Old Stratford. When the decision was made to cross the Ouse by an aqueduct instead of on the level, thus saving 8 locks on the canal's main line, this change meant the route up the Ouse Valley could not be used, so a new route was needed. This was found to be from Cosgrove to Old Stratford. The route was 1.25 miles long with no locks and built to a width of 14 .5ft like the main line.
Worked started on this branch as soon as work on the main line was completed. This being an easy route to construct, it was finished in August 1800.
Trade on this branch increased when the Buckingham branch was opened from Old Stratford to Buckingham on the 1 May 1801, remaining high for the next 50 years. Once the Bletchley to Banbury railway (with a station in Buckingham) was completed in 1850, trade started to diminish with the last traffic being to Deanshanger in 1935.
The branch remained open until it was temporarily dammed at bridge 1 during the Second World War. The reason for this was that the branch had been poorly maintained for years. This lack of maintenance caused the branch to draw water from the main line of the canal, so to protect vital wartime traffic on the main line the dam was installed.
This dam was still in place when in 1960 a report commissioned by the then nationalised British Transport Commission recommended its closure. The Old Stratford Branch was officially abandoned in 1964, with the exception of the length from Cosgrove to bridge 1 which is still open today and used as a marina.