Saturday, 9 January 2010

What I did on my Holidays

We spent Christmas at Kendal at the home of some friends whose house backs onto the towpath of the Lancaster Canal not far from the terminal basin. We didn't see any boats - and nor did we expect to - as the last commercial boat reached Kendal in 1947 and the Lancaster Canal north of Tewitfield closed in 1968 when the line was severed during construction of the M6 motorway.

Martin is a member of the Lancaster Canal Trust, whose laudable long-term aim is to re-open the line through to Kendal but I think It will be a while before we can take Starcross to visit to him. The best we could do was take a Christmas Day walk along the line of the canal towards Sedgewick.
The route through Kendal is very well preserved and I only noticed one road crossing that would present an expensive hurdle to restoration. This rather ornate road bridge is visible from the kitchen of our friends' house, being the first bridge south of the terminus.

The heavy snow that had fallen two days before Christmas made it difficult to see what state the canal is in, although the old towpath is now obviously a well-trodden footpath.

Once out of the town the bed of the canal seems to be been reclaimed by local farmers, leaving the former accommodation bridges isolated in the middle of the fields. At this one the question of land ownership was obviously considered important enough for a boundary wall to be built across the former line of the canal.

Our walk took as as far as the village of Sedgewick, where this magnificent aqueduct, built in 1819, dominates the village centre. It may be of interest to, amongst others, "Captain Ahab" of Wand'ring Bark who maintain an alternative website on Aqueducts of the Inland Waterways,but who doesn't appear to have yet visited the Lancaster Canal!

1 comment:

Captain Ahab said...

Oh, I have had my eyes on the Lancaster for a while! The trouble is that there about 20 aqueducts on the canal so I am saving it for an aqueduct fest in times to come!