Wednesday, 6 February 2008

ABC Wednesday - C is for...


Canal
Even better, this is part of Caen Hill flight near Devizes, taken last Saturday. There was meant to be an open weekend there as three of the sets of lock gates are being replaced at the moment. However, there was no sign of activity when I was there - so I took this shot of a lock entrance instead. The replacement of 2 sets of gates last year was recorded in pictures, so it'll give you a good idea of what I should have seen.
The canal pictured is the Kennet & Avon which links the River Kennet at Reading to the River Avon at Bath. The canal was to have been routed through Chippenham, but some scurilous parliamentary wheeling and dealing by the Devizes MPs got the canal re-routed through their town. This left the brilliant engineer, John Rennie with a problem - a rise of 272 feet over 2 miles, in canal terms that's steep. His solution was to build 29 locks over that distance, with 16 of them forming the Caen Hill flight. It's a wonder of the UK's waterways as the locks rise in a staircase formation, with pounds (like a large pond) between each lock holding a reserve water supply.
The canal took 16 years to build and opened in 1810. 4 million bricks were used in the construction of Caen Hill alone (the last part of the canal to be built), with the clay from digging out the canal being used to make the bricks - how's that for recycling! The canal prospered for 30 years, but the opening of Brunel's Great Western Railway (GWR) from London to Bristol in 1841 soon led to it's demise. In 1852 GWR took over the running of the canal, but as they had no vested interest, it was left to further decay and finally stopped trading in the 1920s. Restoration started in the 1950s, and gained momentum in the 1980s, particularly when Heritage Lottery funding became available. It was reopened by The Queen in 1990. Further restoration is ongoing through the auspices of the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust and today the canal is a fantastic leisure resource for Wiltshire. Take a pictorial ride through Caen Hill yourself, by clicking here.
For further ABC Wednesday pictures, do pop over to Mrs Nesbitt's Place.

49 comments:

  1. What a neat picture! I love the reflection.

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  2. Wonderful picture and GREAT background information. Love the history part…

    Hope your friend in California sends you a good e-mail about Super Tuesday ;)

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  3. That is a very nice picture with a great reflection. I enjoyed reading about the history of the canal.

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  4. Cool I always thought canals were very clever.

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  5. I find the canals interesting. Great post and interesting information

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  6. Great photo and lots of great links to check out

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  7. I find canals and locks very interesting. When we lived in and near Seattle, we often took the kids down to the locks on the Lake Washington Ship Canal. We even once took a harbor tour which went through the locks. Fascinating fun!

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  8. Nice photo and information around the history of the canal. :)

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  9. Hello Blotanist :)
    I am admiring your creativity in finding topics :)
    Nice picture, interesting reading.

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  10. I thank for the visit in my blog. The photograph elects a very good reflection, but also a important comment.

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  11. Extremely interesting for a historical minded person like myself. And a nice picture too.

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  12. It must be a lot of work to maintain the canal system. 272 feet is a lot to raise water over just two miles!

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  13. Hi VP. Thanks for your comment as my placae which has enabled me to find you, particularly as you are a not-too-distant neighbour! I'm happy to meet up with another yoga devotee as well.

    This is so interesting, thank you for passing on the information. It has been one of the real pluses of recent years that so much interest is now taken in the restoration of derelict waterways ...

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  14. I have seen these canals on tv.. amazing. I sure hope I get to see them when I visit the UK next year!

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  15. I like posts like this. I've sat down with a cup of tea and a couple of biscuits to enjoy reading an informative and interesting entry with good links.
    Well done, and lots more please!

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  16. Lovely picture - I think we had a trip on that canal many years ago. If I recall correctly we were staying near Bradford-on-Avon at the time.
    My Hyde DP blog has a canal picture on it today.

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  17. Nice shot! Very beautiful!

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  18. What a nice photo and what fascinating information .. I long to visit your part of GB

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  19. When I saw Caen and Canal I said France - but no, it's not my Caen Canal! :( or :)

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  20. That's amazing. Patience is a good message for history.

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  21. Beautiful C and a great information:)
    Have a nice day:)

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  22. Hi
    That a great C for Canal!and I like the photo's very much also the informative story Thanks!

    Come and see my ABC's photography
    JoAnn Holland
    Participant in ABC wednesday

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  23. Hubby fancies a canal holiday...I don't know which would be the most disasterous...me sterring or operating the lgates! LOL! Watch this space....you will not be disappointed!

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  24. Hey Veg
    I red later that you cmmented on my blog about LIMBURG Carnaval, yes thats THE MOST and BEST PLACE to be with Carnaval, The South is the best, I can imagine that you like to see that oe more time, its awsome!!

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  25. Great picture, and plenty of information. Think how much clearer our roads would be if the canals were still in full use!

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  26. Great post - very interesting!

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  27. Love the reflection. Nice photo and interesting post.

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  28. A lovely picture of the canal....love the info with it....

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  29. Nice photo and post...we need our canals and waterways!!!

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  30. Very good c from you,both picture and the canal history:)

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  31. Great picture and background information:)
    Thank you for the history lesson:)

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  32. Hi everyone - glad you liked the photo and the information.

    Thanks for the feedback on the links I found - that's one of the things I love to do when putting my posts together!

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  33. Nice photo for the C post.

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  34. What an interesting post and I love the photo.

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  35. Canals make lovely photos; nice shot. Interesting reading too.

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  36. Seeing the water I just kept thinking of your legs paddling away underneath.

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  37. great picture, they look like a place you want to explore.
    happy wednesday

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  38. Great photo and information. We have a lock being restored here. A great place for photographing dragon flies :o)

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  39. Great C post, and an interesting image. I enjoy informative posts, especially of a historical nature. Thanks for visiting me.

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  40. Like HPY, I first imagined it was a photo of a french town,in calvados, named Caen !
    Miss Yves

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  41. Great photo! Thanks for the
    links. Very interesting history.

    Have a Blessed Happy Fun
    Healthy Creative Year!!!

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  42. Not only great photo but also the information is awesome : ) Thanks for sharing this.

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  43. Waterways are always fun and they served a great purpose before the highways and rails.

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  44. Definitely interesting post for C -- love reading about things like this. makes my keyboard traveling interesting and fun!

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  45. Hi and thanks to everyone that's posted a Comment after my last thanks. It's very much appreciated and I'm glad you liked my C.

    See you next week at D...

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  46. Oh I love canals, I was born near one near Tring - thats the grand union canal and then lived near one in buckinghamshire. Love em! thanks for refreshing my memories!!

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  47. Hi Krissie - glad it bought back memories for you :)

    We've had holidays on the Grand Union - used to have an annual 'booze cruise' with loads of friends (2 barges + CB radio), so your Comment's bought back happy memories too!

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