Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
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Waterways of Warwickshire

Navigable Rivers and Canals within Warwickshire

Hatton Locks on the Grand Union Main Line.

Ashby de la Zouch Canal

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

From the start of the canal at Marston Junction, where it connects with the Coventry Canal, to Limekiln Bridge No 15 (Watling Street), where it crosses into Leicestershire, the canal is in Warwickshire.

Waterway Description:

Attractive and historical countryside which includes Bosworth Field. Runs from Snarestone to Marston Junction on the Coventry Canal

History:

Promoted by an Act of 1794 Opened from Marston to Moira in 1804.The section from Moira to north of Snarestone was abandoned in 1956 under the BTC Act.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Central Junction Canal project

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

A proposed canal from Oxfordshire to Warwickshire.

Waterway Description:

A proposal for a canal from Abingdon through Whitney, Burford, Upper Swell, Batsford and Shipston-on-Stour to Stratford-upon-Avon, with a branch to quarries at lower Guiting.

History:

Surveyed in 1810 but opposed by the Grand Junction Canal and the Warwick & Napton companies and did not reach the parliamentary Bill stage.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Central Union Canal project

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

A proposed canal from the West Midlands to Warwickshire.

Waterway Description:

A proposal for a canal from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Worcester Bar to the Warwick & Birmingham Canal near Bordesley and from the Warwick & Birmingham Canal near Solihull to the Oxford Canal at Ansty.

History:

Proposed in 1832 but never authorised or built.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Coventry Canal

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

From a point just north of Hawksbury Junction, where the canal enters Warwickshire from the West Midlands, to a point beyond Alvecote Bridge, No 59, where it crosses into Staffordshire, the canal runs over 17 miles through Warwickshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs from Coventry to the Trent and Mersey Canal at Fradley Junction, except for a 5.5-mile stretch from Fazeley Junction to Huddlesford Junction which is connected by the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1768, 1786 and 1819 and opened in 1790.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Grand Union Main Line

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

At Bridge 67, about 2 miles north of Kingswood Junction, the canal crosses from the West Midlands into Warwickshire and countinues in the county until it enters Northamptonshire as it crosses the River Leam on the "Puddle Bank" at Braunston.

Waterway Description:

Runs from Salford Junction to the River Thames at Brentford.

History:

Formed from the Grand Junction Canal (Acts of 1793, 1794, 1795, 1798, 1801, 1803, 1805, 1812, 1818 and 1819); Warwick & Napton Canal (1794, 1796 & 1809); Warwick & Birmingham Canal (1793 & 1796); Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal .

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Higher Avon Navigation

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

The whole of the Higher Avon from Warwick Aqueduct to Stratford Bridge is within Warwickshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs from Warwick to Stratford Bridge. Small cruisers can go from Stratford to Hatton Rock, turning just below Alveston Weir.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

London & Birmingham Junction Canal project

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

A proposal for a canal from Warwickshire to London.

Waterway Description:

Various plans for a canal link from the Stratford Canal to the Regents Canal. The 1836 route being 113 miles long. Never authorised or built.

History:

Started to be considered in 1827 and the last known discussions of the plan was in 1838.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Newdigate Canals

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

Abandoned canals in Warwickshire.

Waterway Description:

A 5.5 mile system of six connected private canals with 13 locks at Arbury, Warwickshire, these were connected to the Coventry canal.

History:

Mostly built between 1770 and 1795 and most traffic had ceased by 1819.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Oxford Canal

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

A canal that passes through Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire.

Waterway Description:

This 77 mile canal runs from Hawksbury Junction (near Coventry) to Oxford, where it joins the Thames. It is now considered as two sections, the Northern and Southern, with the connecting 3 miles now part of the Grand Union, London to Birmingham route.

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1769, 1775, 1786, 1794, 1799, 1807, 1808 and 1829. Open, except for Isis Lock, in 1790.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Oxford Canal (Northern Section)

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

From a short distance before the M69 junction, where it crosses into Warwickshire from the West Midlands until Kilsby Road Bridge No 74, (also called Tarrys Bridge, on the B4038 road) the canal runs 11 miles through Warwickshire.

Waterway Description:

This canal runs 22.75 miles from Hawkesbury Junction, where it joins the Coventry Canal, to Braunston Junction, where it joins the Grand Union Main Line.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Oxford Canal (Southern Section)

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

From the juction with the Grand Union Canal at Napton to a point near Boundary Lift Bridge, No 141, the canal runs for about 13 miles through Warwickshire before crossing into Oxfordshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs 49.25 miles from Napton Junction, where it joins the Grand Union Main Line, to Oxford where it joins the Thames.

History:

Fenny Compton Tunnel was opened out in 1870. The name remains and its site can be recognised by the straight stretch of narrow canal in a cutting crossed by several bridges. In 1939 L. T. C. Rolt, on board Cressy, made his historic trip from Banbury, later recorded in his seminal classic canal book Narrow Boat.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Parrott's Canal

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

A Warwickshire canal.

Waterway Description:

Was a 5 furlong private canal serving Richard Parrott's coal mine near Hawksbury.

History:

Built around 1765 and formed part of the Coventry Canal line when that was built.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Avon (Warwick)

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

A river navigation from Warwickshire to Gloucestershire.

Waterway Description:

Runs from Warwick to Tewkesbury, although the stretch from Stratford to Warwick is not fully navigable

History:

Made navigable by Acts of 1751 and 1793. The upper Avon Navigation Act of 1972 now applies. Opened for navigation in 1639.

Points of Interest:

The two parts of the river were restored by and administered by two separate trusts (the Upper Avon Navigation Trust and the Lower Avon Navigation Trust.) but they merged into the Avon Navigation Trust in 2009.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Stratford upon Avon Canal

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

From near Waring's Green Bridge No 19, where the canal crosses into Warwickshire from West Midlands, to the end of the canal at Stratford-upon-Avon Lock No 56, where the canal joins the River Avon, the canal is mainly in Warwickshire, however, there are some places between Waring's Green and Hockley Heath where the canal is the border between Warwickshire and the West Midlands and short stretches of the canal switch from one county to the other along this length.

Waterway Description:

Runs 25.5 miles from King's Norton Junction, where it joins the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, to Stratford-upon-Avon, where it joins the Avon

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1793, 1795, 1799, 1809, 1815, 1817 and 1821. Opened 1816. The Stratford upon Avon Canal Society formed in November 1956. In 1958 the Warwickshire County Council decide to apply for the abandonment of the southern section of the canal and the following year over six-thousand formal objections were lodged concerning Warwickshire County Councils plans to close the canal. The southern section of the canal transfered to the National Trust on 29 September 1960. The official reopening of the southern section was on 11 July 1964.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Stratford upon Avon Canal - Kingswood Branch

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

The whole branch is within Warwickshire.

Waterway Description:

A quarter of a mile branch linking the Stratford upon Avon Canal to the Grand Union Canal at Kingswood

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Upper Avon

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

From Stratford Bridge, where the river connects with the Stratford-on-Avon Canal, to a point before Robert Aickman Lock the river is in Warwickshire, except for the section between I. W. A. Lock at Marlcliffe and Robert Aickman Lock where the river crosses briefly into Worcestershire then back to Warwickshire before making its final crossing out of the county.

Waterway Description:

Runs from Stratford to Evesham where it joins the Lower Avon.

History:

Before the restoration of navigation the last barge is said to have navigated this part of the river in 1873.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Warwick & Birmingham Canal

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

A canal from the West Midlands to Warwickshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs from the Digbeth Branch of the BCN, 22 miles to Saltisford in Warwick. Now part of the Grand Union Canal.

History:

Authorised by an Acts of 6 March 1793 & 1796. Completed throughout on 19 March 1800.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Warwick & Napton Canal

Waterway's place in Warwickshire :

This canal is entirely within Warwickshire.

Waterway Description:

Built from Saltisford, Warwick, where it joined the Warwick and Birmingham Canal, to Napton where it joined the Oxford Canal. Now part of the Grand Union Canal.

History:

Authorised by an Act of 28 March 1794 as the Warwick & Braunston Canal. The line was later changed to join the Oxford Canal at Napton, authorised by an Act of 14 May 1796. Formally opened on 19 December 1799 but actually open for trade on 19 March 1800.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

External Web Sites Related to Warwickshire 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