Friday, August 12, 2022

A towpath archaeology question

 Anyone walking the GU towpath between Calcutt and, say, Leamington.  Will come across a number of examples of this:

Generally found two or three feet back from the water's edge these bits of sheet piling crop up quite often on this stretch of canal.  You have to suppose one of two things to explain it.


a) The canal used to be wider and this is where the old edge was, or

b)  These were driven in to secure the inland edge of the tie rods you sometimes see keeping the newer piling from leaning into the water.

I've seen plenty of the tie rods along there but never anchored to one of these old bits of piling, so maybe the canal really was in fact if I recall rightly some of these old bits of piling are where there isn't any new piling at the water's edge.

So maybe the canal really was two or three feet wider.  Strange though as this stretch of canal is still quite wide today.

Can anyone enlighten us?


Vallypee said...

How curious, Neil. I shall come back and see if you have an answer in a day or so.

Carol said...

Us too.

Oakie said...

Having given this some thought, I would suggest that the extra work and time involved in removing them would be uneconomical and so they were just left in situ. On the other hand, repeating the process every time they were replaced would eventually reduce the width of the cut to one boat, but that could take a very long time. That is if our planet survives the ravages of human beings that long.