Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The end is nigh….

Yesterday’s forecast was for wind and rain, so we stayed put at Bosworth Wharf. It wasn’t as bad as predicted as it turned out, and we nearly decided to get on after lunch, then it rained and made our minds up for us.

We untied at around 10:30 this morning, breezy still but with bright sunshine lifting the spirits.

Leaving Market Bosworth Wharf

There’s a planning application in for a 150 berth marina on the land just over the hedge.

The Battlefield Line follows the line of the canal up to Shackerstone, if it had been a weekend we’d have had a good view of the steam engines.


The station here is right alongside the canal.

We saw Ratty the other day…..

Now we’re looking for the rest of the cast. Mole, Mr Badger, Otter and the Chief Weasel.

The canal swings around Shackerstone, there’s a length of private moorings alongside a meadow with the remains of a motte and bailey visible on it.

Motte and Bailey at Shackerstone.

This northern end of the canal is the prettiest, especially at this time of year. It’s quiet, the trees are just greening up, and the birds are singing. Glorious.

By Bellow’s Clump

Snarestone is the last port of call before the current terminus.

Who put the “snare” in Snarestone?

There’s a short 250 yard tunnel to negotiate before the end, though.

Snarestone Tunnel.

The village is built on the 30 foot high ridge that the canal is driven through.

We turned around at the end, and reversed to the sanitary station to fill and empty.

End of the line.

The current terminus from the swing bridge to the clay dam in the distance is the new extension, the first stage of the project to reconnect the canal to it’s original destination.

Although named “The Ashby de la Zouch Canal” it didn’t actually reach that far, stopping at Moira, 8 miles from the current dam. It was constructed to transport coal and lime to the burgeoning industry around Coventry and Birmingham, but suffered from subsidence north of Snarestone and most of the northern section was closed by 1966. There is a short disconnected length running south from Conkers, the award-winning outdoor centre, to Donisthorpe. It is the intention of the Ashby Canal Association to restore the lost section, and they have been campaigning and fund-raising to that end since formation in 1966. The restored section pictured above was reopened in February 2010, and although short in length represents a massive leap forward for the project.

After using the services we debated whether to moor here for the night, but it can get quite busy here, so we travelled back through the tunnel and moored up in a sunny spot shortly afterwards.

Locks 0, miles 7½

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