Immediately south-east of the village the canal crosses the valley of the river Great Ouse on an embankment and aqueduct known as the Cosgrove Iron Trunk Aqueduct. The river was initially crossed on the level, with four temporary locks lowering the canal from the south-east, and five raising it from the river towards the north-west (the top lock of these is still in place). The temporary locks were used as a means of getting the canal open to through traffic by 1800 (this river crossing and the tunnel at Blisworth being the only two gaps by that year). However, it was always intended that the river should be crossed by aqueduct, as the locks were wasteful of water, time-consuming and the river in flood in winter could prevent through passage. A brick aqueduct was built, but collapsed in 1808, after which the locks were re-opened. It was replaced by the present Cosgrove aqueduct, built of cast iron, and opened on 22 January 1811. The 10.5 miles (17 km) Buckingham branch of the canal (also known as Buckingham Arm), an extension of the original proposal for a link to the main road at Old Stratford, was opened in 1801, diverging from the main line just to the south-east of the village, above the lock. It closed in the 1960s but there is a desire to re-open the now dry and defunct canal arm. The Buckingham Canal Society was formed to reopen the original canal line wherever possible. This Buckingham branch froze more quickly and solidly than either the River Ouse or the main canal. This was noticed not only by skaters from miles around, but also by the owner of Cosgrove Hall, who in about 1820 built an ice-house half-way between the canal and the Hall. The ice house was constructed rather like a stone windmill, with very thick walls but, unlike the windmill, the ice house has its greater part below the level of the surrounding field. Into the ice house, every winter from 1820 until the 1900s, ice cut from the canal would be stored and packed around with straw. By this method it kept until the following spring and summer, when it would be sold to local fishmongers, butchers and others in the days before refrigeration. In recent years it has become derelict, but it was the last remaining in Buckinghamshire and one of the very few left in England. For the past 200 years life in the village has been affected by the building of the canal and then later by the railway, now the West Coast Main Line. For a while the village was a very busy trading centre, but in more recent years, with the advent of motorways and other means of transportation, life and business in the village has slowed down again. The traders have gone, and the village has returned to its natural, rural charm like much of Northamptonshire life. There was once a cornmill on the River Tove, dating from 1086, which Robert Maudit granted to Roger the miller of Cosgrove and his son Robert for life in 1211. The Mill prospered until the early 20th century when it fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1979. The gothic style Ornamental Bridge over the canal was built in 1790s at the insistence of a local landowner, the Biggins family when the two halves of the canal joined here, one from Braunston, the other from Brentford. It is one of only two ornamental bridges over the canal.
If anybody would like to expand to this series please do. I would just ask that you let SmokeyPugs know first so they can keep track of the Village Sign numbers and names to avoid duplication.