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Saturday, November 05, 2011

Newbold-on-Avon’s Lost Canal

Yesterday I mentioned in this blog about discovering the lost sections of the North Oxford Canal, having discovered on-line about the original Newbold tunnel beside the church.

This morning Jo and I walked back to the church to start looking for it. The western portal is easy to find.


This is the western portal alongside the church.


Apart from being slightly overgrown it is in very good condition externally.


This is the view through one of the two bat holes, not a brilliant photo, but you can actually see the tunnel walls for as far as the flash would illuminate.


We then decided to see how far we could trace the line of the canal westwards. This photo is taken from the footpath that starts from within the churchyard, and the tunnel portal can clearly be seen between the church and the rather large oak tree.


This is the view in the opposite direction from the footpath, showing clearly the dip in the field of the old canal.


We started to follow the line of the old canal, which disappeared into a wooded area alongside the field, but through the wooded area, we spotted this wall, which could have been a wharf or canalside building.


Further along we crossed over the line of the old canal over a small bridge, and were able to climb down into the canal bed where the brick wall was. However we did find the gratings in the wall rather perplexing as to what they were for.


This is the footbridge we crossed over for access into the canal bed, although not an original bridge, it is sited where an original had been, as can be seen by the original stop plank slots in the existing wall, so common at bridge ‘oles.


We walked further along and came across this original bridge still in very good condition with a road passing over it.


This photo was taken in the opposite direction, the line of the canal can be clearly seen, despite natures best effort to hide it. We could not follow the line any further without some form of map to go by, so we returned back to the canal. We will have to return another day with a map to follow.

The eastern portal of the old tunnel is completely lost. As referred to on the website for the church, you can clearly see the dip in the churchyard entrance from the road to the church where the canal  tunnel collapsed in the exceptionally dry summer of 1976. The route of the canal from the church to the the existing canal is also unclear, as from the dip in the churchyard it is lost, presumably underneath the road. However the line can be traced opposite “The Boat” and “The Barley Mow” pubs. In front of “The Barlow Mow” is a large building next to the “Coach House” which looks like a converted wharf warehouse, and the canal would have passed the other side of this to join the existing canal in the vicinity of the water point.


We then walked through the new Newbold Tunnel to see if we could trace the old canal from it’s other end.


This is the other end of the old canal taken from the wrought iron bridge which takes the towpath over the entrance.


This is the wrought iron bridge as viewed from the line of the old canal.


Unfortunately further access is restricted, this photo being as far as we could proceed. Again we can further explore it if we have a map and can find further possible access points from the roads that cross the line.

We have enjoyed this little adventure. We will have to buy a decent scale map or maps, and then see if we can access old maps in a local library, either in Coventry or Rugby, and if we can, then mark on the new map the lines of all the old loops that have been lost on this canal. This should make it easier to do some more exploring.



Mike Todd said...

see when zoomed in for old line

Keith Lodge said...

Thanks for that Mike, fairly useful, but I still need to get access to maps at a library that date prior to the canal changes to get a view which will be easier to trace.