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Waterways of Kent

Navigable Rivers and Canals within Kent

Dartford & Crayford Navigation

Waterway's place in Kent :

A navigation that forms the boundary between London and Kent.

Waterway Description:

Two and three-quarter navigable miles of the Kentish rivers Darenth and Cray. Tidal below Dartford Lock.

History:

Promoted by Act of 1840, completed in 1844.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Kent & Sussex Junction Canal project

Waterway's place in Kent :

A proposed canal that would have been entirely within Kent but would have made navigation into Sussex possible via the River Rother.

Waterway Description:

A proposed 28 mile canal to take 40-ton barges from the River Medway between Brandbridges and Yalding to the New Mill channel of the River Rother near Tenterton. There were to be two branches one to Lamberhurst (11 miles) and the other to Headcorn (1 mile).

History:

A plan was produced in september 1800 and a promoters meeting was held in July 1801. Due to the low level of expected returns the scheme languished until 1809 when it was taken up again and a Bill was introduced and withdrawn. See also the Weald of Kent Canal project.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Medway

Waterway's place in Kent :

The whole of this river is within Kent.

Waterway Description:

The navigation runs 42 miles from Tonbridge to Sheerness, where it joins the Thames estuary.

History:

Navigation was promoted by Acts of 1664, 1740, 1792, 1802 and 1824. Navigation between Maidstone and Tonbridge was promoted by the Act of 1740 and was opened in 1750. Navigation between Halling and Maidstone was promoted by the 1792 Act.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Rother (Eastern)

Waterway's place in Kent :

The river is within Sussex from the head of navigation at Bodiam Bridge but after 1 miles it becomes the border between Kent and Sussex, afer a while it then crosses entirely back into Sussex before crossing into Kent about 7 miles from the head of navigation. It runs about 2 miles in Kent before crossing back into Sussex at Kent Ditch.

Waterway Description:

This 16 mile navigation runs from Bodiam Castle to the East Pier Rye. It is called the "Eastern" to distinguish it from the "Western" River Rother, which is also in Sussex.

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1826 and 1830.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Stour (Kent)

Waterway's place in Kent :

The whole river is within Kent.

Waterway Description:

Runs 19 miles from the fixed sluice at Fordwich to Pegwell Bay, where it enters the English Channel

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1515 and 1825. Made navigable about 1594 and again around 1695, having become unnavigable previously. It originally ran to Canterbury but this part of the river is now only navigable by small craft.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Thames

Waterway's place in Kent :

From Dartford Creek to the estuary the river forms the boundary between Essex on the north bank and Kent on the south.

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.

Royal Military Canal

Waterway's place in Kent :

The fisrt half mile of this canal, from the Idem Lock junction with the river Rother to Kent Ditch, is within Sussex the rest of the canal is in Kent.

Waterway Description:

This 19 mile navigation runs from Idem Lock, where it joins the River Rother, to West Hythe Sluice. Most of its length is unnavigable at present.

History:

Promoted for navigation by an Act of 1807, but originally built as a defence against a Napoleonic Invasion.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

St Nicholas Bay Harbour & Caterbury Canal

Waterway's place in Kent :

A proposed canal in Kent.

Waterway Description:

A proposed canal from St Nichlas Bay, west of Margate, to Canterbury and for a dock at the sea entrance.

History:

First surveyed in 1797 and again in 1810. An Act was passed authorising the canal in 1811but no work was done.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Thames & Medway Canal

Waterway's place in Kent :

The whole canal was in Kent.

Waterway Description:

A 7 mile barge canal with entrance locks and basins from Gravesend, on the Thames, to Strood, on the Medway. Included the 3,931 yard Strood Tunnel, later opened in the middle for a boat passing place and making two tunnels of 1,515 and 2,347 yards.

History:

Authorised by Acts of 1800,1804 and 1810, opened in 1824, tunnel opened at centre in 1830, shared the tunnel with the South Eastern Railway from 1845 to 1847 when the tunnel was closed to canal traffic. The rest of the canal was abandoned in 1934.

Points of Interest:

The tunnel is still used by trains between Gravesend and Strood.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Weald of Kent Canal project

Waterway's place in Kent :

This proposed canal was to be entirely within Kent.

Waterway Description:

A proposal to connect the Thames and Medway rivers with the eastern River Rother to make a through waterway from London to Rye.

History:

The first survey was in 1800 for an 11 mile canal taking 40-ton barges (see also Kent & Sussex Junction Canal project). It was amended in 1809 and a Bill introduced and withdrawn in 1811. It was re-introduced in 1812 as a 30 mile canal with 24 locks.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

External Web Sites Related to Kent Waterways

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Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
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