Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Newport Canal - Kinnersley Junction

Newport Canal - Kinnersley Junction
Post 10
June 2010

Kinnersley Junction, like any junction, holds a certain air of mystery for any canal enthusiast. This one is lost in dense undergrowth but still manages to capture the imagination.

Kinnersley Aqueduct (remains of)

But before we dash on to Kinnersley Junction there is the Aqueduct to consider. This was a very fine aqueduct with curved stone butresses supporting a fine cast iron trough all topped off with iron railings. Does this sound familiar? Yes, that right, the archive photos show this to be a close relation to the Sutton, Nantwich and Congleton trio. We will have to rename that classic Genesis album "And then there were four". It was quite a surprise truning up another smaller version of this classic design.

Kinnersley Aqueduct 1950

Sadly, like most canal structures round Buttrey Farm, it has been demolished. It originally crossed the drainage ditches either side of Kinnersley (or Dukes) Drive but rumour has it that it was too small for farm machinery so is was pulled down, either that or water seeped out and caused a landslip. One way or another nothing remains today save some footings in the watercourse, which is a real shame for such a lovely aqueduct.

Kinnersley Junction 2010

Kinnersley Junction lies a few hundred yard to the west, atop an embankment with the Humber Branch reaching out a couple of miles to the south into what is now Telford. It's course has been truncated by new roads, but a warehouse remains with water outside, and plans remain on the table for its ultimate restoration. Another site to visit at a later date.

Maybe a historical perspective on this spot will help paint a picture of how things used to be:

"We pass the Humber Arm, a short stretch off to the South. This is a particularly fine spot here at the junction: a very broad stretch of water covered with water lilies and a bridge of imposing design over which the canal passes, gives us the impression of an entrance to a large estate."

Boating diary of T Wheeldon - Friday 21st July 1939

Humber Arm 2010

With all the trees it was hard to work out what went where, but when Dr D went for a "swim" in the Cowparsley the triangular shape came to life. During his forraging he emerged with a lump of coal from the canal bed - a geographic impossibility were it not for the canal.

Kinnersley Coal

So, in spite of the lack of remaining structures, the canal continues to stamp its footprint on the panorama and is well worth a visit.

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