Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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Description of River Itchen: A 10 mile and three furlong navigation with 15 locks and two half locks taking craft of 72 feet long with a 13 feet beam. At present the ownership of navigation rights is unclear and the craft are restricted by the lack of locks and the crossing of the M3 and M27 motorways.
History of River Itchen: Said to have first been made navigable from Arlesford to Southampton around the end of the 12th Century by Godfrey de Lucy, the Bishop of Winchester. In 1665 an Act of parliament was passed to make the Itchen (and other rivers) navigable. Using artificial cuts and locks the river was finally made navigable to Winchester by 1710. In 1767 an Act was obtained setting up a commission to ensure free and fair access to the navigation. Commercial traffic ceased in 1869.
For more details see the History page.
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