- Kennet and Avon Canal
The Kennet and Avon Canal is a
canalin southern England. The name may refer to either the route of the original Kennet and Avon Canal Company, which linked the River Kennetat Newbury to the River Avon at Bath, or to the entire navigation between the River Thamesat Reading and the Floating Harbour at Bristol, including the earlier improved river navigations of the River Kennet between Readingand Newburyand the River Avon between Bath and Bristol.cite web | title=The Kennet and Avon Museum, Devizes | work=Kennet and Avon Canal Trust | url=http://www.katrust.org/museum_heritage_planning_001.htm|accessdate=2006-08-20]
The River Kennet was made navigable to
Newburyin 1723, and the River Avon to Bath in 1727. The canal between Newbury and Bath opened in 1810 and is 57 miles (92 km) long. The two river navigations and the canal total 87 miles (140 km) in length.cite web | title=The Kennet and Avon Museum, Devizes | work=Kennet and Avon Canal Trust | url=http://www.katrust.org/museum_heritage_planning_001.htm|accessdate=2006-08-20] In the later 19th century and early 20th century the canal fell into disuse following competition from the Great Western Railway, who owned the canal. In the latter half of the 20th century the canal was restored, largely by volunteers, and today is a popular heritage tourismdestination, for boating, canoeing, fishing, walkingand cycling. It is also important for wildlife conservation.
The section from Bristol to Bath is the course of the River Avon, which flows through a wide valley and has been made navigable by a series of locks and
weirs. In Bath the canal separates from the river but follows its valley as far as Bradford on Avon. The ornate Bath Lockslead to a stretch through Limpley Stokevalley with few locks. The flight of locks at Devizes raises the canal to its longest pound, which then ascends the 4 Wooton Rivers locks to the short summit pound which includes the Bruce Tunnel. Pumping stations are used to supply the canal with water. The canal continues through the rural landscape of Wiltshireand Berkshirebefore joining the River Kennet at Newbury and becoming a navigable river to Reading, where it flows into the River Thames.
The idea of an east-west waterway link across southern England was first mooted in
Elizabethantimes, based on the Avon and Thames being only 3 miles (4.8 km) apart at their closest. The sea route between Bristoland Londonwas hazardous during the 18th century and early 19th century, because Atlanticstorms and the rugged coast line took their toll on the small coastal sailing shipsof the day, and also because a succession of conflicts with Franceand her allies frequently made British cargo ships navigating the English channelthe prey of both privateersand warshipsof the French navy. [cite web | title=Kennet & Avon Canal Trust | url=http://www.katrust.org/museum_heritage_planning_001.htm | accessdate=2006-09-20]
Although plans had been discussed for a canal, no action was taken until the early 18th century when the Avon navigation from Bristol to Bath and the Kennet navigation through Reading were built to meet local needs, independently of each other but both under the supervision of surveyor-engineer
John Hore. In 1788 the so-called "Western Canal" was proposed to improve trade and communication links to towns such as Hungerford, Marlborough, Calne, Chippenham and Melksham, although there were doubts about the adequacy of the water supply. In 1793 a further survey was conducted by John Rennie and the route changed to a more southerly course through Great Bedwyn, Devizes, Trowbridgeand Newbury. This was accepted by the Kennet and Avon Canal Company, chaired by Charles Dundas, and on 17 April 1794the Kennet and Avon Canal Act received the Royal assentand construction began. The canal opened in 1810, after 16 years of construction, including Dundas and Avoncliff aqueducts, locks, and pumping stations at Claverton and Crofton, needed to overcome water supply problems. The final engineering feat was the completion of the Caen Hill locksat Devizes.cite book |last=Allsop |first=Niall |title=The Kennet & Avon Canal |year=1987 |publisher=Millstream Book |location=Bath |id=ISBN 0-948975-15-6 ]
The opening of the
Great Western Railwayin 1841 removed much of the canal's traffic, and in 1852 the railway company took over its running, levying high tolls at every toll pointuntil the canal was hardly used. The Somerset Coal Canaland Wilts and Berks Canal, which supplied some of the trade from the Somerset coalfieldto the Kennet and Avon, closed in 1904 and 1906 respectively.
Second World War, a large number of concrete bunkers known as pillboxeswere built as part of the GHQ Lineto defend against an expected German invasion, and many of these are still visible. cite book |last=Pearson |first=Michael |authorlink= |title=Kennet & Avon Middle Thames:Pearson's Canal Companion |year=2003 |publisher=Central Waterways Supplies|location=Rugby |id=ISBN 0-907864-97-X ]
By the 1950s large portions of the canal were closed because of poor lock maintenance. In 1956 the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust successfully petitioned against its legal closure. In 1963 the newly formed
British Waterwaystook over the canal and began restoration work.
The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust was formed in the 1960s to restore the canal from Reading to Bristol as a through navigation and as a public amenity. In partnership with British Waterways and the
riparianlocal authorities the Trust has continued to work to safeguard the navigation. In 1990 Queen Elizabeth II reopened the canal. In 1996 the ongoing problem of water shortage was resolved when new backpumps were installed at the flight of 29 locks at Caen Hill in Devizes at a cost of £1 million. The pumps raise water 235 feet (72 m) at a rate of 300,000 imperial gallons per hour (380 l/s). The Kennet & Avon Canal Partnership attracted the largest single National Lotterygrant awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, £25 million towards a £29 million project, to complete the restoration and to make it operational, sustainable and accessible for the enjoyment of future generations. The restoration's completion was celebrated in May 2003 by a visit from HRH Prince Charles. [cite web | title=Kennet & Avon Canal Museum | url=http://www.ipresent.co.uk/KA3.HTM | accessdate=2006-09-19] [cite web | title=Kennet & Avon Canal Trust | url=http://www.katrust.org/ | accessdate=2006-09-20]
The canal today is a
heritage tourismdestination. Boating, with both narrowboatsand cruisers, is popular, particularly in the summer months, with privately owned craft and hire boats from the range of marinas being much in evidence, and there are numerous canoeclubs along the its length. The Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Marathonis held annually starting from Devizes Wharf, the site of the Kennet & Avon Canal Museum, at first light on Good Fridayeach year and the competitors have to negotiate 75 locks in the convert|125|mi|adj=on route between Devizes and the finish at Westminster. [cite web|url=http://www.dwrace.org.uk/main%20site/milage.htm|title=Mileage chart|publisher=Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race|accessdate=2008-10-05] The winning time is usually around 17½ hours. [cite web|url=http://www.dwrace.org.uk/main%20site/about_dw_write_up.htm|title=DW – What’s it all about?|publisher=Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race|accessdate=2008-10-05]
Cycling is permitted along the canal
towpathexcept for a convert|656|yd|m|0 section near Woolhampton. Some sections of the canal towpath have been improved to provide a wider path that is more suitable for cyclists and disabled users. Under a partnership arrangement involving British Waterways, Sustransand the riparian Local Authorities, two main sections of the canal have been improved, and, with a few short diversions, run from Reading to Marsh Benhamand from Devizes to Bath as part of the National Cycle Network(NCN) Route 4. [cite web|url=http://www.sustrans.org.uk/default.asp?sID=1215164992406|title=NCR 4|publisher=Sustrans|accessdate=2008-10-05] Fishing for bream, tench, roach, rudd, perch, gudgeon, pike and carpis permitted throughout the year from the towpath of the canal, but almost the whole length of the canal is leased to angling associations or fishing clubs. There are a variety of riverside public housess, shops and tea rooms. The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust also operates shops and tearooms at; Aldermaston Lock, Newbury Wharf, Crofton Pumping Station, Devizesand Bradford on Avon. [cite web | title=Kennet & Avon Canal Trust, Information for recreation | url=http://www.katrust.org/information.htm | accessdate=2006-09-20]
The canal is also important for wildlife conservation, with a variety of birds including
heronsand kingfishers, small vertebrateand invertebrateanimals, and reeds and other plant life along the edges of the canal. Over 100 different species of bird have been recorded in surveys over the length of the canal. [cite web|url=http://www.reading.gov.uk/Documents/ourenvironment/stateoftheenvironment/Chap003_Wildlife.pdf|title=Chapter 3 Wildlife|work=State of the Environment Report|publisher=Reading Borough Council|accessdate=2008-10-05] Of those, 38 could be classified as specialist waterway birds with 14 species confirmed as breeding, including sand martins ("Riparia riparia"), which nest in drain-pipes in the brick walls of the canal in the centre of Reading. [cite journal|last=Youe|first=Michael|coauthors=John Tate|date=1998|title=British Waterways: a study in the search for sustainability|journal=Sustainable Development |publisher=John Wiley & Sons, Ltd|volume=6|pages=68-77|url=http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/10006448/] The rare reed bunting("Emberiza schoeniclus") is found at various places along the canal. Wilton Waterby Crofton locksand the Kennet Valley gravel pits provide habitats for breeding and wintering waterfowl. The red kite("Milvus milvus") has also been seen in Great Bedwyn. Several Sites of Special Scientific Interest(SSSI), which exhibit great bio-diversity, are along the canal. Key sites that are home to several rare species include the Aldermaston Gravel Pits,cite web | title=Aldermaston Gravel Pits | work=English Nature | url=http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1002776.pdf#search=%22Aldermaston%20Gravel%20Pits%22 | accessdate=2006-09-23] cite web | title=Aldermaston Gravel Pits nature reserve | work=Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife turst | url=http://www.bbowt.org.uk/content.asp?did=23917&nonews=&level2id=&level3id=&level4id=&level5id=&rootid=&level3=&level2=&level4= | accessdate=2006-09-23] Woolhamptoncite web | title=Woolhampton Reed Bed | work=English Nature | url=http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1000370.pdf | accessdate=2006-09-22] and Thatcham Reed Bedscite web | title=Thatcham Reed Beds | work=English Nature | url=http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1002762.pdf | accessdate=2006-09-22] [cite web | title=Thatcham Reedbeds and Greenham Common | work=Royal Society for the Protection of Birds | url=http://www.rspb.org.uk/england/central/school_visits/thatcham.asp | accessdate=2006-09-22] and Freeman's Marsh, Hungerford. [cite web|url=http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1001426.pdf| title=SSSI Citation for Freeman's Marsh|publisher=English Nature|date=1986|accessdate=22 September|accessyear=2006] There are also many non-statutory nature reserves throughout the length of the canal. Several species of odonata( dragonfliesand damselflies) have also been identified. Measures to preserve and create water vole("Arvicola amphibius or A. terrestrisis") habitat have had considerable impact on the restoration of the canal, and new "vole-friendly" techniques of bank protection have been developed. [cite web | title=Kennet & Avon Trade Association | url=http://www.katrade.org.uk/canal.htm | accessdate=2006-09-23]
Bristol to Bath
Floating Harbourin Bristol is a convert|70|acre|km2|adj=on harbour created by installing lock gates on a tidal stretch of the River Avon in the centre of the city, given the name Floating Harbour because it is unaffected by tides. The harbour branches from the navigable River Avon at Netham Lockin east Bristol. The first mile of the harbour is the artificial Feeder Canal, the river following its original route. Beside Bristol Temple Meads railway stationthe harbour rejoins the original route of the Avon and meanders through, Bristol city centre, Canon's Marshand Hotwells, where it rejoins the river and flows into the Avon Gorge. Between Temple Meads and Hotwells, never more than a kilometre south of the harbour, the Avon flows through the artificial New Cut, reducing currents and silting in the harbour and preventing flooding. East of Netham Lock is the Avon Navigation, which continues upstream for 12 miles (19.31 km) as far as Bath. The river Avon was navigable from Bristol to Bath during the early years of the 13th century but construction of mills on the river forced its closure.cite web | title=The Kennet and Avon Museum, Devises | work=Kennet and Avon Canal Trust | url=http://www.katrust.org/museum_heritage_planning_001.htm|accessdate=2006-08-20] The first cargo of "Deal boards, Pig-Lead and Meal" arrived in Bath in December 1727. The stretch is made navigable by the use of locks and weirs at Hanham, Keynsham, Swineford, Saltford, Kelston and Weston, which together overcome a rise of 30 feet (9.15 m). The Avon is navigable from its mouth at Avonmouth as far as Pulteney weir in the centre of Bath. The Kennet and Avon Canal connects with the Avon just below this weir and Bath Locks. Together with the Kennet Navigation and the River Thamesit provides a through route for canal boats from Bristol to London.
Several areas along this stretch have been designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, including;
Bickley Wood, [ [http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1000535.pdf English Nature citation sheet for Bickley Wood] (accessed 9 July 2006)] Cleeve Wood, Hanham, [cite web|url=http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1002574.pdf|title=Cleeve Wood, Hanham|work=SSSI citation sheet|publisher=English Nature|accessdate=2008-10-05] Stidham Farmnear Keynsham, [ [http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1002564.pdf English Nature citation sheet for Stidham Farm] (accessed 13 July 2006)] and Newton Saint Loe (for geological reasons as it represents the only remaining known exposure of fossiliferous Pleistocenegravels along the River Avon). [ [http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1002500.pdf English Nature citation sheet for Newton St Loe SSSI] (accessed on 2006-07-07)]
Bath to Devizes
Bath Locksmark the divergence of the River Avon and the canal, convert|656|yd|m|0 south of Pulteney Bridge. [cite web | title=Bath Bottom Lock | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=442708|accessdate=2006-09-04] Alongside the bottom lock are a side pound and a pumping station that pumps water up the locks to replace that used each time the lock is opened. [cite web | title=Former engine house | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=442710 | accessdate=2006-09-04] The next stage of Bath Deep Lock is numbered 8/9 as two locks were combined when the canal was restored in 1976. [cite web | title=Second Lock | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=442716 | accessdate=2006-09-04] The new chamber has a depth of 19 feet 5 inches (5.92 m), making it Britain's deepest canal lock. Just above the 'deep lock' is an area of water enabling the lock to refill and above this is Wash House Lock, [cite web | title=Wash House Lock | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=442711 | accessdate=2006-09-04] followed by Abbey View Lock, [cite web | title=Abbey View Lock | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=442714 | accessdate=2006-09-04] by which there is another pumping station and, in quick succession, Pultney Lock and Bath Top Lock. [cite web | title=Top Lock | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=442717 | accessdate=2006-09-04]
Above the top lock the canal passes through
Sydney Gardensincluding two short tunnels [cite web | title=Tunnel under Beckford Road | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=442754 | accessdate=2006-09-04] [cite web | title=Tunnel under Cleveland House and Sydney Road | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=442751|accessdate=2006-09-04] and under two cast iron footbridges dating from 1800. Cleveland tunnel is 173 feet (52.73 m) long and runs under Cleveland House, the former headquarters of the Kennet and Avon Canal Company. A trap-door in the tunnel roof was used to pass paperwork between clerks above and bargees below. This is now a grade II* listed building. [cite web | title=Cleveland House | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=443799 | accessdate=2006-09-04] Many of the bridges over the canal are also listed buildings. [cite web | title=Footbridge Adjoining Top Lock | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=442749 | accessdate=2006-09-04] [cite web | title=Footbridge adjoining Wash House Lock | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=442712 | accessdate=2006-09-04] [cite web | title=Footbridge over Canal | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=442752 | accessdate=2006-09-04] [cite web | title=Footbridge over Canal | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=442752 | accessdate=2006-09-04] [cite web | title=Canal Bridge | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=444245 | accessdate=2006-09-04] [cite web | title= Bridge over Canal | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=442753 | accessdate=2006-09-04] [cite web | title= Canal Bridge (Pulteney Gardens) | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=442713 | accessdate=2006-09-04]
In the Avon Valley to the east of Bath the classic geographical example of a valley with all four forms of ground transport is found: road, rail, river, canal. The canal passes the remains of a loading dock, used in the past for Bath Stone from the quarries on Bathampton Down which was carried down a straight track to the canal over the Dry Arch rock bridge (demolished in 1958 to allow double-decker buses to use the A36). Next, the canal passes Claverton Pumping Station, which pumped water from the River Avon into the canal, and then crosses over the river and railway at the
Dundas Aqueductand back over them again at the Avoncliff Aqueduct. At the western end of the Dundas Aqueduct the canal is joined by the remains of the Somerset Coal Canal, of which a short stretch has been restored to form the Brassknocker Basin. [cite web | title=Origin of Brassknocker Basin name| url=http://www.monktoncombe.com/poap/names/page20.htm | accessdate=2007-11-21]
The first sod for the Kennet and Avon Canal was turned in Bradford on Avon in 1794 and soon afterwards there were wharves above and below
Bradford Lock. Next to the canal, a little way west of the lock, is a huge 14th-century tithe barn. [cite web | title=The Wide Way West | url=http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/jim.shead/The-Wide-Way-West.html|accessdate=2006-09-09] Further east are swing bridges, Semington Locksin the little village of Semington, where the Wilts and Berks Canaljoined, and Seend.
This section of the canal passes through agricultural land with occasional woodlands. Several sites on, or very close to, the canal have been designated by
English Natureas Sites of Special Scientific Interest, including Brown's Folly,cite web|url=http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1002510.pdf|title=Brown's Folly|work=Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)|publisher=English Nature|accessdate=2008-06-02] [cite web|url=http://www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/level1/reserves/browns_folly.htm|title=Brown's Folly|work=Reserves|publisher=Avon Wildlife Trust|accessdate=2008-06-02] Gripwood Quarry[ [http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1003653.pdf English Nature citation sheet for Gripwood Quarry] (accessed 22 July 2006)] and Inwood, Warleigh. [ [http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1004362.pdf English Nature citation sheet for Inwood] (accessed 16 August 2006)]
Devizes to Newbury
Caen Hill locks, at Devizes, provides an insight into the engineering needed to build and maintain the canal. The main flight of 16 locks is part of a longer series of 29 locks. [cite web|url=http://www.katrust.org/devizes/locks.html|title=Devizes Branch - Locks |publisher=Kennet and Avon Canal Trust|accessdate=2008-10-05] [cite web|url=http://www.envf.port.ac.uk/kacanal/html/KAC0043.HTM|title=Caen Hill Locks|work=Kennet and Avon Scrapabook 2000|publisher=University of Portsmouth|accessdate=2008-10-05] The total rise is convert|237|ft|m|0 in convert|2|mi|km|1 or a 1 in 30 gradient. [cite book|last=Cragg|first=Roger|title=Civil Engineering Heritage: Wales and West Central England|publisher=Thomas Telford|date=1997|pages=154|isbn=9780727725769] The locks come in three groups: seven at Foxhangers, 16 at Caen Hill, and six at the town end of the flight. While the locks were under construction in the early 1800s a tramroad provided a link between Foxhangers at the bottom of the flight and Devizes at the top, the remains of which can be seen in the towpath arches in the road bridges over the canal. Because a large volume of water is needed for the locks to operate a back pump was installed at Foxhangers in 1996, capable of returning 32 million litres (7 million imperial gallons) of water per day to the top of the flight, equivalent to one lockful every 11 minutes. They were the last part of the convert|87|mi|adj=on route of the canal to be completed. Because of the steepness of the terrain there was not the space to use the normal arrangement of water pounds between the locks. As a result, the 16 locks utilise unusually large side ponds to store the water needed to operate. [cite web | title=Caen Hill Locks | work=Waterscape.com | url=http://www.waterscape.com/servicesdirectory/Caen_Hill_Locks | accessdate=2006-09-18] In the early 19th century, 1829–43, the flight was lit by gas lights. [cite web | title=Caen Hill Locks | work=Kennet and Avon Scrapbook | url=http://www.envf.port.ac.uk/kacanal/html/kac0043.htm | accessdate=2006-09-18] The locks take 5–6 hours to travel in a boat, and lock 41 is the narrowest on the canal.
in the world, dating from 1812, [Booklet 'Crofton Pumping Station' edition 2, printed by ESP Color Ltd in 2001, no explicit publisher or copyright details but believed to be published by the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust. Obtained from the Crofton Pumping Station in 2004.] [cite web|url=http://www.croftonbeamengines.org/about.html|title=About Crofton Pumping Station|publisher=Crofton Beam Engines|accessdate=2008-10-05] [cite web|url=http://www.crofton.ndo.co.uk/|title=Crofton Pumping Station|publisher=Crofton Pumping Station|accessdate=2008-10-05] although for day-to-day operation the pumping station now uses electric pumps, automatically controlled by the water level in the summit pound.
Near Crofton are
Savernake Forest[ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=23049 Savernake, A History of the County of Wilshire, D.A. Crowley, 1999, Victoria County History, British History Online] ] and the remains of a railway bridge that carried the Midland and South Western Junction Railwayover the canal. [cite web|url=http://www.envf.port.ac.uk/kacanal/html/KAC0157.HTM|title=KandAC mile 36|work=Kennet and Avon Scrapabook 2000|publisher=University of Portsmouth|accessdate=2008-10-05]
This section of the canal passes through agricultural land with occasional woodlands. Several sites on or very close to the canal have been dsignated by
English Natureas Sites of Special Scientific Interest, including Jones's Mill, [ [http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1004402.pdf English Nature citation sheet for Jones's Mill] (accessed 15 August 2006)] Freeman's Marsh, [cite web|url=http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1001426.pdf| title=SSSI Citation for Freeman's Marsh|publisher=English Nature|date=1986|accessdate=22 September|accessyear=2006] Kennet and Lambourn Floodplain, [ [http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/2000109.pdf English Nature citation sheet for Kennet and Lambourn Floodplain] (accessed 16 August 2006)] Kennet Valley Alderwoods, [cite web | title=Kennet Valley Alderwoods | work=English Nature | url=http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/2000123.pdf | accessdate=2006-09-24] Irish Hill Copse[cite web | title=Irish Hill Copse | work=English Nature | url=http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1003175.pdf | accessdate=2006-09-24] and the River Kennet SSSI. [cite web | url = http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/2000164.pdf | title = SSSI designation for River Kennet | accessdate = 2008-03-18 ]
Newbury to Reading
The stretch from Newbury to High Bridge in Reading is an improved river navigation known as the Kennet Navigation, opened in 1723. Throughout this navigation stretches of natural riverbed alternate with 11 miles (17.70 km) of artificial lock cuts and a series of locks that overcome a fall of 130 feet (39.63 m).
Colthrop Lockin Thatchamthe river leaves behind the built-up area of Newbury and runs in generally rural surroundings. The village of Woolhamptonand the canal settlement of Aldermaston Wharfare the only significant settlements until the river enters the built-up area of Reading at Sheffield Lockin Theale. Even after this, the river is isolated from Reading's suburbs by a wide flood plainsurrounding the river, and the surrounding town is far from obvious. In this stretch Garston Lock, the last remaining turf sided lockon the navigation, is passed. [cite web | title=Garston Lock | work=Waterscape.com | url=http://www.waterscape.com/Kennet_&_Avon_Canal/places_to_go/attractions/Garston_Lock/sid870 | accessdate=2006-09-16] [cite web | title=All change for the K&A | url=http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/jim.shead/All-Change-for-the-KA.html | accessdate=2006-09-16]
Shortly after passing
Fobney Lockand the associated water treatmentworks, the Kennet flood plain narrows and the river enters a narrow steep-sided gap in the hills forming the southern flank of the Thames flood plain. At County Lockthe river enters the centre of Reading, where it formerly flowed through the centre of a large brewery. The narrow and twisting stretch of the river here became known as "Brewery Gut". Because of the poor visibility and difficulty of boats passing in this stretch, boat traffic has long been controlled by a set of maritime traffic lights. Today the Brewery Gut forms a major feature of The Oracle shopping centre.
Immediately after The Oracle, the river flows under the historic arched High Bridge, which forms a historical and administrative divide on the river. The last mile of the River Kennet in Reading below the bridge has been navigable since at least the 13th century. It was the absence of a floodplain on this stretch of the Kennet that enabled the development of wharves and led to Reading's importance as a river port in the
middle ages. [cite web|url=http://home.btconnect.com/kenavon/reading/local_history.html|title=Reading Branch - Local History|publisher=Kennet and Avon Canal Trust|accessdate=2008-10-05] Originally this short stretch of river, which includes Blake's Lock, was under the control of Reading Abbey, but today it is administered by the Environment Agencyas if it were part of the River Thames. [cite web | title=Blake's Lock | work=River Thames Guide | url=http://www.riverthames.co.uk/about_thames/3687.htm | accessdate=2006-09-17] [cite web | title=Lock Statistics | work=Floating Down the River | url=http://www.the-river-thames.co.uk/locks2.htm | accessdate=2006-11-13]
Locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal
Waterways in the United Kingdom
* [http://www.katrust.org/ The Kennet and Avon Canal trust]
* [http://www.freefoto.co.uk/browse.jsp?id=2039-05-0 Photographs of the K&AC]
* [http://www.sustrans.co.uk/default.asp?sID=1095605490000 National Cycle Route 4] – "Severn & Thames"; more info at [http://www.waterscape.com/Kennet_%26_Avon_Canal/cycling/ waterscape]
* [http://www.waterscape.com/Kennet_%26_Avon_Canal/introduction/ waterscape.com] – Official Kennet and Avon Canal information
* [http://www.visitkanda.com/ Visit K&A] – Kennet & Avon Canal Rural Transport Partnership
* [http://www.katrade.org.uk/ Kennet & Avon Trade Association]
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Locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal — There are a total of 105 locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal along its 87 miles (140 km) length from Bristol to the River Thames, including 6 on the navigable section of the River Avon from Bristol to Bath and 9 on the navigable section of the… … Wikipedia
Kennet & Avon Canal Museum — infobox Museum name= Kennet Avon Canal Museum established= location= Devizes, Wiltshire, England director= website= [http://www.katrust.org/museum heritage index.htm Kennet Avon Canal Museum] The Kennet Avon Canal Museum in Devizes, Wiltshire,… … Wikipedia
Kennet-und-Avon-Kanal — Vorlage:Infobox Fluss/GKZ fehlt Kennet und Avon Kanal Lage Südengland Länge 140 … Deutsch Wikipedia
Dorset and Somerset Canal — The north face of Murtry aqueduct Date of act 1796 Date completed not completed … Wikipedia
Neath and Tennant Canal — The exit from Clun Isaf lock, restored in 2007 Original owner Neath Canal Nav Co, Port Tennant Nav Co Principal engineer … Wikipedia
Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal — The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal is a small network of canals in South Wales. For most of its 35 mile (56 km) length it runs through the Brecon Beacons National Park, and its present rural character and tranquillity belies its original… … Wikipedia
Leeds and Liverpool Canal — Ainscoughs mill in Burscough Principal engineer John Longbotham Other engineer(s) … Wikipedia
Kennet — may refer to:*Kennet (district), a local government district in Wiltshire *Kennet School, a school in Thatcham *River Kennet, a tributary of the Thames *Kennet and Avon Canal, a canal in southern England *Kennet Partners, a private equity firm… … Wikipedia
Canal (Voie Navigable) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir canal. Le canal de l Ourcq au parc de la Berg … Wikipédia en Français
Canal (voie navigable) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir canal. Le canal de l Ourcq au parc de la Berg … Wikipédia en Français