Pewsham Bottom Lock (Sunday 9th August 2015)
I attended an Open Day at the former Wilts and Berks Canal which is being restored, to see an update of what is going on at Pewsham Locks.
On a previous visit a couple of years ago, I wrote, "Pewsham Top Lock. ..is also being lovingly overhauled, but as you can see, there is some way to go, and the entire project is estimated to take a further thirty years to complete; many times longer than it took to construct in the first place.
Building of the Wilts and Berks Canal began in 1796, 4 million bricks being used between Melksham and Calne, and it was complete as far as Pewsham by 1798. A lot of the damage to this Top Lock occurred during the Second World War, when it was used by our boys for demolition practice.
The boats on the canal were thought to be all horse or donkey drawn. There were 42 locks on the main line, and the most major engineering work was the aqueduct over the Marden at Stanley, the collapse of which in 1901 led to its inevitable demise a few years later, aided by the branch line railway."
Stanley Aqueduct was near Calne and I was pleased to learn that plans are in hand for its future restoration. The landowner is sympathetic but it will be years before the Trust is in a position to acquire the land parcel.
I also learned that the canal was conceived in Marlborough as the Western Canal, intended to terminate at Reading in direct competition with the Kennet and Avon, but instead was routed via Swindon to the Thames at Abingdon. It was a very interesting afternoon and I discovered a couple of new paths in the process.
16.8.2015 (2025 hr)
Blip #1633 (#1883 including archived blips)
Consecutive Blip #000
LOTD #867 (#988 including archived blips)
A Visit To Pewsham Locks, 9 August 2015 (Flickr album)
The Wadworth Shires Go on Holiday, 7 August 2015 (Flickr album)
A Visit To Caen Hill Locks, 7 August 2015 (Flickr album)
Wilts and Berks Canal series
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