Friday, October 21, 2011

Kingswood Junction deciphered

Don’t you just love quirky canal junctions? I had never been to Kingswood Junction before we did so recently.  What a gem!  All that lovely brickwork and the distinctive Stratford bridges with little gaps in the middle to let the horse rope slip through.

I haven’t read up on the history, but it looks like it was created as an afterthought to link the GU and Stratford canals at a point where they are only a couple of hundred yards apart.  It’s a bit of a dog’s breakfast, but very attractive, although I cant work out why it is shaped like it is.

Here’s a diagram


We arrived from top left down the Lapworth flight.  Here we are coming out of the lock I have marked as L1.  See L3 to the left and L2 to the right.

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The Stratford canal continues down to the right and the GU to the left. So far so good.

Now here we are in L3 looking back to L1.

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The confusing bit is the signpost, because the arm pointing right in the picture says Grand Union Canal, and the GU is nowhere to bee seen.    Then having descended L3 we pass another little turn taking the canal back to below L1.


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This comes out in a pool below L2. I  suspect that might have been put in later to prevent the need for boats going from Warwick to Stratford having to go up aL3 and then down again through L2.  Then that makes me wonder why they bothered with L3 in the first place,as it’s redundant really.  Boats coming from the Stratford to the GU could just drop down through L2 and turn right along the little alleyway towards the GU

Here’s the view looking from L2 back up to L1.


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Anyway all jolly nice if a little confusing when you first arrive.  There are some attractive old  canal buildings around too.  Worth getting out of the car for a stroll if you ever are nearby.

After leaving the junction behind I realised we hadn’t yet seen the GU coming down from  Birmingham.  In fact it’s another couple of minutes away along the link.  Stupidly, I didn’t bother to photograph it.

1 comment:

Adam said...

I'll have to look this up when I got home to be sure, but I seem to remember that the narrow link was opened (or reopened?) as late as the mid 1990s. Before that, if you were going from the GU to the south Stratford, you had to go up one lock only to come straight back down the neighbouring one.

I'm surprised you didn't do a bit looping around to take in the extra lock and the link! Over the years, we've done the all, having been through the junction in several different directions.