Basingstoke Canal - Discovering the lost canal section
It’s fascinating what you learn as you begin digging deep into the history of a place. Clearly there are some places I have just got to go in search of.
I know the area of the canal from Odiham Castle up to the Greywell Tunnel very well indeed. I’ve known it since I was a teenager. The section I’ve never visited though has been what lies to the west of it.
This looks useful, a set of circular walks along the entire canal but the one that interests me most of all is Greywell Hill Park which incorporates various interesting spots.
I like this name because we are looking for a tunnel and it cuts underneath farmland and thus on the surface it remains unscathed!!
- There has for a long time been an ambition to restore the last 5 miles but as you can imagine this would now be close to impossible
- Tunnel can’t be restored, due to it’s SSI status
- 300 meter section collapsed
- Basingstoke Wharf is now (amongst many things) Festival Place
- Plans to establish a footpath and cycleway that follows closely the old route taken by the canal
- Take a look at the London Canals website, as they may still have information on on the last 5 miles, a pictorial guide
- National Library of Scotland
- Canal Ring
- Kennet and Avon Link
- The last boat to travel all the way to Basingstoke Wharf was thought to be February 1914 which had taken 4 months to ship its cargo of sand from Ash Vale. It had become very hard to navigate.
- Whitewater River runs underneath canal, not through or into it
- Part of the tunnel collapsed
- Aldershot training army, boats etc
- Anti aircraft guns were moved along the canal during the War to help stop many of the bombers reach London
- 1794 canal was opened and originally would have been snaked around to Rotherwick and then Tylney Hall Estate
- INstead routed through Greywell Hill
- Ran until 1930s and was closed due to tunnel collapse and was not making a profit
- The non-canal part is SSI
- MEets Wey at Weybridge and not far from Thames
- Agricultural, timber shipping
- Tunnel 1300 yards long
- Tunnel entrance Victorian
- Largest colony of bats in the UK
- Tunnel lasted for 140 years until 1930s when the collapse happened
- They did show the other end of the tunnel but must have skipped a bit?
- Who was the local guide chappy?
- Matt their local guide
- Steep cutting embankment
- Looking for small bridge
- Brick Kiln bridge with its two different parapets.
- Basingstoke canal logbook, what’s that?
- Up Nateley nature reserve, there is another secton of the canal I think?
- A very nice watch!
Can we find the opposite portal into the tunnel at Greywell and evidence of the part long defunct?