Friday, 3 February 2012

Canal Foot to Canal Head

To Ulverston, on the bus. To visit the street market (excellent cheese, eggs, meat and veg stalls); for a pub lunch (local ale, hot beef sandwich) and then a look at the Ulverston Canal.
Entrance Lock from Morecambe Bay at "Canal Foot"
Always as isolated waterway and no longer navigable, the canal was built in the late 18th Century to allow sea-going vessels to reach the town of Ulverston, one mile inland, and thus help it to compete with the rival port of Lancaster on the other side of the bay, although it's now many years since either town saw a sea-going vessel. Starting at "Canal Foot" where there is a sea-lock accessible only at high tide, It claims to be (or have been) the "shortest, (1 mile), straightest, deepest (15ft) and widest (65ft)" canal in England although this claim presumably pre-dates the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal for one.
It's certainly straight as you can see in this view from the head of the entrance lock looking towards canal head.
As well as its claimed superlatives it can also be considered to be the most featureless and - arguably - most boring canal in the country.
As built its only features of note were the lock at Canal Foot and the wharf at Canal Head, although it subsequently acquired two railway crossings - a branch line into the works of what is now Smith Kline Glaxo, Glaxo Smith Kline, which owns the canal and maintains it as a back-up water source - and the viaduct that carries the Furness Railway which still links Barrow-in-Furness to the West Coast Main Line at Carnforth.
Railway Viaduct over the Ulverston Canal
It's a pleasant 15 minute stroll on the adjacent roadway, but that's really all there is to say about the Ulverston Canal, although for completeness having shown you "Canal Foot" I had better show you "Canal Head"!
Canal Head, Ulverston


Sarah said...

Could it really be more boring than the Denver Relief Channel? Or the Hundred Foot Drain? But perhaps they don't qualify as they weren't built primarily as navigation canals.

Jim said...

Boring as the Denver Relief Channel and the Hundred Foot Drain may be you can at least navigate them now!

Actually with the surrounding scenery - views of Morecambe Bay and the Lake District fells it was quite an interesting walk!

An English Shepherd said...

Boring maybe but nice photos :-)

arizona home security systems said...

The place looks so laid back. I think im gonna like it there.