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Waterways of Sussex

Navigable Rivers and Canals within Sussex

Arun Navigation

Waterway's place in Sussex :

The whole of this waterway is within Sussex.

Waterway Description:

Runs 4½ miles from Newbridge Wharf to Pallingham and formed the link between the Wey & Arun Junction Canal and the River Arun. It is now being restored by the Wey & Arun Canal Trust.

History:

An Act of Parliament enabling this naviagation was passed in 1785 and the waterway was opened in 1790.Commercial traffic ceased in 1889 and it was abandoned in 1896. Now being restored.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Baybridge Canal

Waterway's place in Sussex :

A canal entirely within Sussex.

Waterway Description:

Although originally intended to be a canal from the River Adur to, or near, Baybridge at West Grinstead on the Horsham to Worthing road it was only built as a widening of the river with a few small cuts and straightenings.

History:

Authorised in 1825, opening date not known, little used after 1861 and abandoned in 1875.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Chichester Canal

Waterway's place in Sussex :

Whe whole canal is in Sussex.

Waterway Description:

Runs 4.5 miles, from Chichester Basin to Chichester Harbour.

History:

Promoted by Act of 1817 and at one time formed part of the route from Portsmouth to London, via the Arun Junction Canal and the River Wey.

Points of Interest:

Now under the control of West Sussex County Council.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Petworth Canal

Waterway's place in Sussex :

An abandoned Sussex canal.

Waterway Description:

Was a 1.25 mile, 2 lock, canal from Haslington Bridge, near Petworth, Sussex, to the River Rother.

History:

Opened in 1793 but only used for a few years.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Portsmouth & Arundel Canal

Waterway's place in Sussex :

An abandoned canal from Sussex to Hampshire.

Waterway Description:

Was the last link in the inland route from London to Portsmouth, 28 miles and 6 locks from Ford on the River Arun, across Chichester Harbour to Portsea.

History:

Authorised by an Act of 1817, fully opened in 1823. No traffic after 1906.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Adur

Waterway's place in Sussex :

The whole river is within Sussex.

Waterway Description:

11 Miles of estuary navigation flowing into the English Channel near Shorham-By-Sea, Sussex.

History:

River was first improved by Act of Parliament in 1807. A further Act (1825) extended it to West Grinstead.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Arun

Waterway's place in Sussex :

The whole river is within Sussex.

Waterway Description:

Runs from Pallingham to Littlehampton where it joins the English Channel.

History:

Promoted as a navigation under Acts of 1732 and 1793, also Acts of 1785 and 1821. River opened for navigation between Houghton Bridge and Newbridge in 1790. This was a unique river navigation in that it had a tunnel (Hardham), 375 yards long on the ½ mile Coldwaltham Cut.This was south of Pulborough and consisted of a stop lock, Hardham Tunnel and Coldwaltham lock. The cut was built to avoid a long loop in the river.

Points of Interest:

Passes Arundel, with its castle prominent. There is a Wildfowl Trust Centre just north of Arundel.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Brede

Waterway's place in Sussex :

The river is wholly within Sussex.

Waterway Description:

This is a tributary of the River Rother navigable for almost 8 miles.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Ouse (Sussex)

Waterway's place in Sussex :

The whole river is within Sussex.

Waterway Description:

This tidal river is now navigable for 9.5 miles from Newhaven Harbour to Lewes but was navigable for a further 22½ miles to Ryelands Bridge at Linfield through 18 locks.

History:

The upper river navigation was promoted by Acts of 1790, 1791, 1800, 1806 and 1814. Navigation opened around 1812. Originally the river was navigable to Linfield and had 18 locks, traffic ceased in the 1860s..

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Rother (Eastern)

Waterway's place in Sussex :

The river is within Sussex from the head of navigation at Bodiam Bridge but after 1½ 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.

From the point where Kent Ditch crosses the river the navigation passes back from Kent into Sussex for the remaining 5½ miles to Rye East Pier.

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 Rother (Western)

Waterway's place in Sussex :

The river is entirely within Sussex.

Waterway Description:

Was made navigable in 1794 from Midhurst to Stopham, where it joined the River Arun. The whole navigation was 11.25 miles long and had 8 locks. It is called the "Western" to distinguish it from the "Eastern" River Rother, which is also in Sussex.

History:

The waterway was used by commercial traffic until around 1888 and was abandoned in 1936. It also had a route to Petworth via a short Canal.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Royal Military Canal

Waterway's place in Sussex :

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.

Wey and Arun Junction Canal

Waterway's place in Sussex :

From below Gennets Wood Lock No 9, where the canal crosses into Sussex from Surrey to the Arun Navigation junction at Newbridge the canal is entirely within Sussex.

Waterway Description:

This canal runs 18.5 miles from Gunsmouth, on the River Wey, to Newbridge, where it joins the Arun Navigation. It is partly derelict but under restoration.

History:

Promoted by an Act of 1813, opened in 1816 and closed in 1871

For more details see the Waterway details page.

External Web Sites Related to Sussex 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
Features Contact me Glossary Boats Events List History Local Waterways Help Photo List