Cricklade and Latton† Picture Gallery † † † † † † † † †Back to T&S Canal Index

The canal continues eastwards from Eysey to Cricklade Wharf which served the nearby 9th Century town which has always been a strategic crossing point for the Thames. The T&S Canal was not the first navigation to Cricklade; long before the canal was built, the town was served by the River Thames and a right of navigation survives to this day to Town Bridge although in practice only small craft are able to make the journey down to Lechlade.

token ton 1984
†This was not always the case as there were once 4 flash locks between Lechlade and Cricklade and the boats using the river were able to carry about 10 tons of goods. The opening of the T&S Canal in 1789 and then the North Wilts Canal in 1819 provided a more reliable transport system and the river soon went out of use. There have been sporadic calls for the river to be restored to navigation and in 1984, the IWA organised a boat to carry a "Token Ton" of goods up the Thames to Cricklade to maintain the tradition of navigating the river.

With the prospects of the canal restoration coming to fruition, it seems likely that the river will be left in its current state to fulfil the aspirations of conservationists whilst the canal caters for those wanting to navigate to Cricklade and beyond.

Cricklade Wharfhouse

†Cricklade Wharf is outside the town and is of the same style as that at Kempsford - but more colourful. The front can be seen from the A419 and the rear from the old road leading northwards out of Cricklade. There used to be a diamond shaped basin in front of the building but this was infilled and lost in the early 1980s. The restored canal will follow a route east of the dual carriageway leaving this particular building isolated from its original reason d'Ítre.

The original route of the canal used to follow the eastern boundary of the old main road out of Cricklade to Latton. In this section was Latton Lock but all traces have disappeared as a result of the road improvement schemes. The old road was crossed at Latton Bridge which was an early casualty after the canal was closed here in 1927. Its footings were revealed when construction work started on the more recent Latton Bypass.

latton bridge 1997 After a battle with the Highways Agency which lasted over 10 years, the Cotswold Canals Trust succeeded in getting a bridge built to carry the restored canal under the new road. Funded by the Local Authorities and the Trust, it is currently buried under the road awaiting the canal's reconstruction - it is more or less on the site of the original Latton Bridge but at a much lower level.

The canal will be returned to its original level by a new lock at Latton located immediately to the west of the new bridge.

After a short distance the canal bed appears as a shallow depression in the fields before arriving at Latton Basin and the junction with the North Wilts Canal. The basin itself was owned by the T&S Canal Company as part of the deal allowing the North Wilts Canal Company to make a connection. The T&S canal main line and the basin were linked by a low aqueduct over the mill leat carrying part of the River Churn to Latton Mill. A turbine was used to generate electricity here until about 1990; sadly the leat bank has breached and the mill pond is largely empty in all but wet conditions.

At the far end of the basin, a stop lock with gates pointing in all directions and partially built on an aqueduct ensured that water was not lost from one navigation to the other - even so arguments were not unknown.

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