Monday 27 January 2014

Camerton to Dunkerton - Somerset Coal Canal

Somerset Coal Canal
Camerton to Dunkerton
January 2014

This was where I went seriously astray, fooled by the seeming accuracy of the Somerset Canal Society's website. 

Their map suggests that the canal crossed the Can Brook (a raging torrent at the time of my visit) and followed Wick Lane round to re cross the river just above the mill.

Low embankment with Camerton colliery beyond

I could find no evidence of such a crossing and it two aqueducts were built plus the levels on the south bank were all wrong. How could a canal which was climbing the valley side, drop to the flood plain and then get back up without locks when there was an obvious and direct route across the meadows complete with a canal sized embankment, which had been reused by the railway in the 20th century?

Canal terrace approaching Stonedge Lane

It turns out that there never was a river crossing and the canal stuck to the northern side of the valley all the way to the Avon.

And so I followed the canal / railway course to Stonedge Lane where it struck off beyond my reach, only to make a fleeting appearance as a railway bridge parapet on Palmers Lane.

Standing on bridge parapet at Palmers Lane

My now the canal is high above the valley floor and the sound of the foaming brook has receded into the background and the combined canal and railway push cross country towards Dunkerton. Not a lot to see hereabouts with the railway overlaying the canal and obliterating any remains.

 Masonry artefacts at Palmers Lane bridge


Frank Clarijs said...

Surprising for me is that these old, unused routes still are in grass in between woods. Who maintains these grass fields and why? Normally the wood would have overgrown these small fields?

(And keep these stories coming. Fascinating!!)

Andy Tidy said...

Hi Frank - as this is close to Bath they tend to be used to keep horses on. Playthings of the well heeled.