Stoke Breurne is a typical canalside village situated just south of the I 3/4 miles long Blisworth Tunnel.
The tunnel was started in 1793 and took 12 years to complete. In 1800 the canal had reached Stoke Bruerne from London and arrived from the north at Blisworth in 1796. While the tunnel was being constructed a tramway was built going over Blisworth hill. Boats would be un-loaded from both sides of the hill and cargoes would be transported by horse drawn carts running on tracks over the hill to be re-loaded on to boats. This went on for 5 yrs untill the tunnel opened joining the 2 waterways up.
In the 1980`s British Waterways spent 4.5 million lining the centre part of the tunnel and the tunnel was closed for 4 yrs.
Stoke Bruerne is a nice place to visit and indeed during summer months is very busy with people visiting the museum, taking boat trips or eating at the 2 canalside pubs. The lock flight also brings out the boat watchers so your steering skills have to be 1st class with such an audience.
Some nice walks across the fields and one walk led me to find the old Stoke stn. now a private dwelling but with part of the platform still in place. The original trackbed can be walked along and it actually crosses the old Blisworth hill tramway although the bridge has long gone the bridge buttresses are still visable.
View from the road bridge. Boat Inn to the left and museum to the right. This is a double arched bridge, the second arch added when the wide lock was added. On the left is the original lock that now contains the Boat weighing scales.
The canal museum set in an old corn mill. To the right one of those cottages was sold in 1947 for £400. Hate to think of the price nowadays.
The Boat Inn having its roof re-thatched with Norfolk reed. The boat moored is used to take visitors into the tunnel. Just behind the scaffold is the entrance to a small shop within the pub that sells a few basics, handy for boaters as the village has no shops.