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Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Leaving Warwick just 5 mins cruising brought us to the Hatton flight of locks that climbed 146`through 21 locks in less than 1 1/2 miles. After this hard climb we took on water and disposed of our rubbish and just 30 mins later found a nice country mooring for the night.
This early stop was due to the fact we knew that Kingswood jct. was just ahead of us and after turning on to the Stratford-on- Avon canal and facing 34 locks over the 14 mile decent to Stratford, not that we had any intention of doing it in one day.
The Stratford canal is interesting for a number of reasons one being the Barrel roofed lock cottages in the picture below. It is said they were built in this shape because the canal builders were used to the construction of tunnels and arched bridges and therefor found it easy to create this shape of roof, how true this is I no not but it sounds feasible.
In 1958 Warwickshire council tried to close this canal but over 6,000 objections saved the day and the National Trust took it over in 1960 and it re-opened in 1964.
In the picture below you can see the limited clearance of some bridges and in fact some were a

shade lower. In the picture below can you see the gap in the bridge, this gap is not an exclusive feature of the Stratford in fact it can be found on many parts of the canal system. The gap was used back in working boat days when boats were horse drawn. If you imagine the horse connected by a rope line to the boat walks along the towpath on the left and at this lock the towpath changes onto the right so the horse would walk over the bridge and the boatmen would let the rope drop through the gap so now rope and boat pass under the bridge and the horse pulls the boat into the lock. The horse has changed towpaths without having to un hitch from the boat.

In the picture above you can see the bottom gate, and this also is a feature on this canal as usually the bottom exit would be 2 gates on a single lock.
Some gongoozling geese watch as I enter a lock.
Another interesting feature on the Stratford canal are the Aqueducts or at least the towpath part. In the pictures above and below you can see the towpath is lower than the canal and in fact is level with the bottom of the iron Aqueduct trough.

Above St. Peters church at Wooten Wawen. A Saxon church of timber and thatch stood here in the 700`s and the present building was extended in Elizabethan times and inside can be seen the different constructions with one part having a wooden roof. Well worth a visit as there is a permanent exhibition inside to explain the history.
Next door to the church on the banks of the R. Alne is Wooten hall most of its occupation was by the Carrington family.
The Bulls Head pub below was built in the 1500`s.

Goodnight, still more locks tomorrow.


Nb Yarwood said...

Thank you Les, lovely post again. Only another 8/9 weeks and we will be out there with you guys!!
NB Caxton

Anonymous said...

Cant wait for the stratford blog.......

Les Biggs said...

Hi L&J
Just hope this weather holds and you get some summer for cruising.
Anyway the very best to you both hope the first cruise goes well.

Les Biggs said...

The Stratford blog will be real soon.

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs