When I first came across the map all I ever found was the obvious site at lock 65 of the canals original route but since then looking at other things more has become clear. On the right the canal went off at 65 just by the white fronted building.
|Original map from `The Grand Junction Canal, A. J. Faulkner|
A Lock 65 start of the original route.
B Lock 66 the boaters service area and the Canal Trust yard. Ebberns road runs to the rear of here.
C The point the canal crossed Belswains Lane at the junction of Olive Rise.
D Belswains Lane near to the pub, Two Tuns I think it`s called.
E Red Lion Lane. Notice how the junction E/F are in line on this old map. Check a modern map and they don`t line up. Reason is John Dickenson didn`t like Red Lion Lane running through Nash Mills so he moved it.
F The private road leading into the school grounds.
I would like to look sometime for any trace of the bridges 154/155 and the 4 locks. problem is only the former is on public land and although 154 will be long gone there might just be signs each side of it. Two hundred years is a long time but sometimes you might just be lucky to find minuscule clues.
As for the locks it might be that the ground belongs to the school and permission to walk it might be possible.
Lock 65 and A is where the canal followed the route of present day Ebberns Road. Lock 66 is just off the bottom right of the above map.
B is where the canal crossed Belswains lane and C is where the canal passes behind the pub.The two Red lines depict the footbridge to/from Sainsbury`s and runs across the old canal bed in Ebberns Road.
If you go walking around the area you must always bear in mind the route you are looking for is on a level with the top gate of lock 65. Fairly easy along Ebberns Road and across Belswains but gets interesting behind Belswains Lane. Although 200 years have passed and a lot of building has taken place it is possible to keep to a level search route until past the school where the site of the 4 locks are reached.
The whole story of how it all came about is facinating. Briefly Dickinson purchased nash and Apsley mills during a period the millers were in dispute over loss of river water to the canal company. After court cases and various other solutions that all failed Dickinson suggested the new canal route running past his mills. Instant transport solution for his business and the rest is history