Canal History Waterlogged
Ann Hills investigates the findings of the British Waterways Architectural survey.
British Waterways Architectural Heritage Survey, which began in 1988 with joint funding from English Heritage, should be completed next year. This massive audit will contain every important feature – wharves, weirs, Second World War pill boxes, aqueducts, bridges, boundary posts and locks – including Garston Lock on the Kennet & Avon, which has been restored in the past months – complete with granite walls.
The Bridgwater and Taunton Canal, which reopens after full restoration this month (with celebrations between June 3rd to 11th), has its share of historic features. An engine house, an original keeper's cottage and the water tower, which was used by the Great Western Railway – who purchased the canal in 1866 for £64,000 – are landmarks on the 23.3 kms waterway which passes through the Somerset levels.