Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Dunkerton - Somerset Coal Camal

Somerset Coal Canal
January 2014

Having passed through a relatively barren patch, Dunkerton comes as a welcome change.

 Canal bed above Dunkerton Parish Rooms

The village had two aqueducts to carry the canal over roads and streams from valleys which flow into the Cam Brook Valley.

I searched high and low for remains of Dunkerton Little aqueduct but alas my search was in vain. I suspect that it has long since  been raided as a stone quarry and its remnants are probably built into many local houses. 

Dunkerton Big Aqueduct

That said, you can get the levels if you climb up the bank behind the parish hall where you will fine the classic saucer shaped depression, high on the valley side. The canal ran up the side valley for a few hundred yards to a narrow bit, crossed and then came back out on the same contour.

Bridge under A367

Undeterred I drove to a lay by off the busy  A367 and from there gained a good view of the Dunkerton Big Aqueduct. This fine stone edifice runs straight into a bridge of which one portal remains in the garden of a house beside the road. 

Milepost at Dunkerton

Follow the canal line over the busy main road and you find it contouring along, a thin strip of flat land which is occupied by gardens and then a children's nursery. I took a photo but then had to do some quick talking and accept the image of canal nerd rather than pervert!

Nursery on canal course

Hey ho - the canal then sweeps majestically from view and its gone as fast as it appeared.

Map of the Dunkerton section as found on the SCC Society website

1 comment:

Jack Dowling said...


Jack at BBC News Online here. I'd like to use the photo of Dunkerton Bridge, in this blog post, in a feature I'm doing for the website on canals. It'll look at how the canals have changed over the last century.

If it is your photo - which I suspect it is! - could you tell me how I should credit it?

Many thanks,

Jack Dowling