Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Jetty Marsh - Stover Canal

Jetty Marsh 
Stover Canal
July 2012

This represents journeys end for the Stover Canal, the place where the canal fell through a staircase pair of locks into the tidal White Lake Channel and then on into the river Teign and so to the sea port.

Jetty Marsh Locks - taken from a hill which is no more

This area is hemmed in by the railway track and industrial redevelopment and to get a feel for what the sea lock looked like you really need to have a look at the old photos. Probably the best way to explore the remains is by canoe on a spring tide when the White Lake Channel offers a good way in.  You can paddle right through the remains of the bottom lock and then through the tunnel under the railway which was built to a low height after navigation had ceased and stands on the site of the upper lock.

Towing  barges on the White Lake Channel

I would dearly like to say that I explored by canoe but sadly canoes and weddings don't go together very well so I would refer you to this link where an intrepid group recorded their trip with a time lapse camera.

Jetty Marsh Locks as they were - note those rustic balance beams!

  Sea Lock entrance today

The tunnel marks the site of Lock Two

White Lake Channel, probably named after the white clay workings beside the canal, runs east for a mile or so before joining the main river. This has always been tidal and Jetty Marsh was therefore a staging point for boats waiting to catch the ebb tide and a free ride to the river mouth.

 Boats loading at Jetty Marsh

Barges at the sea port


I fear that my visit to the Stover was all too brief and superficial. All mistakes in this series are mine and down to my inattention during Paul's excellent tour - my excuse was my enthusiasm to get some photos! Due to time constraints I wasn't able to visit the Jetty Marsh site and this last post has therefore been compiled using photos available on the internet. I will rectify this omission on my next visit to Torquay. I like to leave a bit of every canal unexplored - a good reason to revisit.

For a far more comprehensive record of the Stover, and the plans for its future, have a look at the website of the Stover Canal Society.

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