Canals

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright December 2010, Oast House Archive; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


Grand Union Canal

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The Grand Union Canal by Oast House Archive
The Grand Union is a 137 mile (220km), 166 lock, 2 tunnel canal running between Brentford in London and Birmingham. It is the longest canal in Britain, and has 11 main arms and junctions. It takes over a week to navigate.



The Leicester arm branches off at Braunston and runs 66 miles long through 59 locks (including 2 staircase locks at Foxton) and 2 tunnels to Leicester where it continues into the River Soar.



Read more at wikipedia LinkExternal link


TQ2581 : Narrowboat on the Grand Union Canal, Paddington Branch by Oast House Archive


Shared Description used on 6 images
Three Locks by Oast House Archive
A group of three locks on the Grand Union Canal.


SP8928 : Three Locks by Oast House Archive


Shared Description used on 6 images
Foxton Locks by Oast House Archive
Foxton Locks are two sets of staircase locks on junction of the Market Harborough Arm of the Grand Union Canal, just to the west of the village of Foxton.



Built in 1810, the each set of 5 locks raise boats up 75ft to join back to the main route of the Grand Union. It would take an experience boatmen about 45 minutes to travel through all ten locks.



In 1900 an inclined boat plane boat lift (known as the 'Thomas Lift') was built, to lift up boats the whole height of the hill in just 12 minutes, and could carry two narrowboats at a time, and reduced the wastage of water. It was closed only 10 years later under financial pressures. The remains can still be seen.



The site is now a popular visitor attraction LinkExternal link


SP6989 : Foxton Locks by Oast House Archive


Shared Description used on 9 images
Union Wharf by Oast House Archive
Union Wharf is at the end of the Market Harborough Arm of the Grand Union Canal. The former wharf buildings have now been converted to dwellings and a restaurant.


SP7287 : Union Wharf by Oast House Archive


Shared Description used on 10 images
Willowtree Marina by Oast House Archive
A marina off the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal.



Official website LinkExternal link


TQ1281 : Willowtree Marina by Oast House Archive


Shared Description used on 24 images
Norwood Locks by Oast House Archive
A pair of wide locks on the Grand Union Canal in London.



The upper lock is Grade II listed LinkExternal link and retains its 1855 lock chamber.


TQ1379 : Narrowboat near the top lock by Oast House Archive


Shared Description used on 8 images
Three Bridges by Oast House Archive
Three Bridges is crossing point of the road, Grand Union Canal and railway. Isambard Kingdom Brunel was involved in engineering the railway to cross the road and canal and Windmill bridge as the canal bridge is called was his last major undertaking in 1859. The railway provided rail access from Southall to Brentford Dock.

Despite the name there are only two bridges.


TQ1479 : Grand Union Canal and Railway by Oast House Archive


Shared Description used on 13 images
Hanwell Locks by Oast House Archive
A group of six wide locks on the Grand Union Canal in London.


TQ1479 : Grand Union Canal and Railway by Oast House Archive


Shared Description used on 7 images
Ashted Locks by N Chadwick
A 1¼ mile long stretch of the Digbeth Branch of the Grand Union Canal, which has six locks leading down from Aston Junction, with the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, to the Curzon Street Tunnel.


SP0887 : Ashted Lock by N Chadwick


Shared Description used on 55 images
Hanwell Locks - a Scheduled Ancient Monument by Thomas Nugent
The flight of six locks at Hanwell raises the Grand Union Canal by just over 53 feet above the height of the River Brent over a distance of a third of a mile. Located in a pleasant rural setting, the locks have been designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument by English Heritage.



They are the work of William Jessop, chief engineer of the Grand Junction Canal, who had the foresight to design the locks to be wide enough to accommodate two narrowboats at the same time.



The locks are bounded on the north by the former County Asylum (known as Hanwell Asylum), now Ealing Hospital. The long brick wall between the locks and the hospital is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument. A bricked-up arch can be clearly seen in this wall. This is the site of a short branch of the canal which led to a dock within the asylum. Canal boats used this dock to deliver coal for the Asylum's boilers and to take away fruit and vegetables which were produced in the asylum's large market gardens.



There are some side ponds at the locks. These were used to store reserves of water to keep the locks topped-up as required.



Some lock-keepers cottages survive as private residences, but some have been demolished.


TQ1479 : Hanwell Locks by Thomas Nugent


Shared Description used on 51 images
Paddington Arm Grand Union Canal - bridges and access by David Hawgood
A collection of photos and descriptions to show the bridges on the canal from Paddington Basin to Bull's Bridge. It will show whether access to the canal towpath is by steps, ramp or level access, and indicate the type of surface of the towpath.


TQ2481 : Bridge 4c Paddington Arm - access on East side of Great Western Road by David Hawgood


Shared Description used on 19 images
Bates Boatyard, Aylesbury Arm, Grand Union Canal by Chris Reynolds
Bates Boatyard LinkExternal link is near Puttenham, on the Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union Canal, immediately west of Lock No 11 and Bridge No 7. While most canal barges built since the mid 20th century have steel hulls this yard maintains the old traditions by restoring old wooden narrowboats and building new ones. This yard has a side slip to allow barges built on land to be launched into the canal.

The position of the triangular plot is interesting as it is in Drayton Beachamp parish, Buckinghamshire, but the north hedge is in Hertfordshire. It is also just into SP8814 but most of the towpath and some of the canal is in SP8813.

For more about the canal see SP9114 : The Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union Canal

To the West (towards Aylesbury) SP8713 : Aylesbury Arm: Bridge No 8

To the East (towards Marsworth) SP8814 : Bridge 7, Aylesbury Arm, Grand Union Canal


SP8814 : Bates Boatyard, Aylesbury Arm, Grand Union Canal by Chris Reynolds


KML

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