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Waterways of Berkshire

Navigable Rivers and Canals within Berkshire

Drewitt's Lock on the Kennet & Avon Canal

Hants & Berks Junction Canal project

Waterway's place in Berkshire :

A proposed canal between Hampshire to Berkshire.

Waterway Description:

A proposed 13 mile canal from the Kennet & Avon Canal at Newbury to Basingstoke Canal at Old Basing.

History:

This connection may well have been part of the original plan for the Basingstoke Canal in 1778 and was suggested in 1793, 1802 and 1810 before it was finally surveyed in 1824. Failed Bills were introduced in 1824 and 1826. The project was dropped in 1829.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Kennet and Avon Canal

Waterway's place in Berkshire :

From the start of the navigation in Reading to just before Froxfield Bottom Lock No 70, where the canal crosses into Wiltshire, 30 miles of the route are in Berkshire.

Waterway Description:

This recently restored navigation (re-opened by HM The Queen on 8 August 1990) runs 86.5 miles from High Bridge Reading, where it joins the River Thames, to Hanham Lock, where it joins the Bristol Avon.

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1794, 1796, 1798, 1801, 1805, 1809 and 1813.fully completed when the Caen Hill Locks were finished on 28 December 1810. Bought by the Great Western Railway in 1852. In May 1950 a stoppage at Burghfield, near Reading, made the canal impassable. This was the last year that the whole canal was navigable before its restoration in 1990. In 1952 Caen Hill Locks at Devizes were impassable.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Reading - Monkey Island Canal project

Waterway's place in Berkshire :

Proposals for a canal in Berkshire.

Waterway Description:

Various schems to by-pass the difficult navigation conditions on the River Thames by means of a canal. The canal was never built.

History:

Started around 1770.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Thames

Waterway's place in Berkshire :

From South Stoke the county shares a boundary with Oxfordshire until Tilehurst near Reading, where the river is wholly within Berkshire until Caversham Lock, where the Berkshire shares the boundary with Oxfordshire again until Henley where the boundary is then shared with Buckinghamshire until Runnymede where the river leaves Berkshire and enters Surrey.

Waterway Description:

The navigation runs 211 miles from Cricklade Bridge to the Open Sea. The first 135 miles, above Teddington, are non-tidal

History:

The river has been used as a navigation from prehistoric times. Numerous Acts of Parliament have been passed relating to the river from as far back as 1423 and by the height of 'canal mania' in 1793 the river had already been the subject of 23 Acts.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

External Web Sites Related to Berkshire Waterways

 

Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
Features Contact me Glossary Boats Events List History Local Waterways Help Photo List