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Oxford

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Oxford is a small town of 1,905 people serving the farming community of North Canterbury, New Zealand. It is part of the Waimakariri District. It is a linear town, approximately 2km long. It was served by the Oxford Branch railway, and had two stations, East Oxford and West Oxford. The line closed in 1959 and was dismantled. Some railway signs and the remnants of railway platforms can still be seen along Oxford Road on the way to Rangiora.It was originally a logging town: trees were felled from forests in the area, and hauled by beast to Christchurch. A mural depicting life from that era is painted on the side wall of the butchers shop.Oxford has won awards for the most beautiful village and the most beautiful toilet.GeographyOxford is located at the inland edge of the Canterbury Plains, approximately 50 km northwest of Christchurch. The township is about 30 km from Rangiora to the East, and the townships of Sheffield and Darfield to the west.Oxford can be reached from Christchurch by means of Tram Road, which has the longest straight section of road in New Zealand.NamingIt is unclear whether the town is named after Oxford in England or after its university, but it is more probable that it was named after Samuel Wilberforce, who was the Bishop of Oxford from 1845 to 1870. It was named by the chief surveyor of the Canterbury Association, Joseph Thomas, in 1849.
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