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Wiltshire Community History

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Grimstead

Canal Bed, East Grimstead

Canal Bed, East Grimstead Date Photo Taken 2012
Uploaded 29/01/2013 15:17:23
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Map Latitude 51.04405843215641 : Longitude -1.6803690791130066
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Original Media Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


In 1795 an act was passed to allow the construction of two branches of the Salisbury and Southampton Canal to join the Andover Canal. One branch followed the river Dun from Kimbridge, to the east of Stockbridge, towards Salisbury passing through the Grimsteads and over the summit of Alderbury Common. A wharf and locks 13 and 14 were sited at West Grimstead and two purpose-built reservoirs nearby fed water to the canal. One of these, at Pope's Bottom survives. One surviving bridge over the canal remains by East Grimstead Church.

The canal was water filled from Alderbury wharf southwards to the Andover Canal but the northern stretch to Salisbury was never completed. The canal was navigable as far north as West Dean by 26th April 1802 and by the end of that year barges carrying 25 tons of cargo could get as far as Alderbury Common. Coal was brought to West Grimstead wharf at twopence per ton per mile and it was decided that chalk, lime and other manures could be carried at half toll - one penny per ton per mile. The canal had cost £2,000 per mile to build. The canal was beset by financial problems, bankruptcies and tunnel problems and only remained open until around 1808 when the canal company held its last meeting.


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