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eysey towpath

Eysey is one of the remoter parts of the canal and there is no public access to the canal east of the site of the former Ampney Brook aqueduct. The towpath between the A419 and the aqueduct site is a public right of way and it is  cleared periodically by the Trust and others - even so, it can be a rough passage but one which gives the satisfaction that through its use, the next traveler will find just a little easier.

The state of the non-right of way towpath, which can only be used with permission of its owners, defies description - dense jungle with lots of prickles does not really do it justice. The Lock Cottage at Eysey was so overgrown during a visit in the summer of 2002, that its presence was not recognised until ones passage was suddenly blocked by a wall! Under such conditions, photography is a real problem and best done in the winter.
Eysey public footpath!

Rucks Bridge - T&S Canal4

Just to the east of Eysey Lock is Ruck's Bridge, an original humpback bridge which was heavily repaired using tough engineering bricks at some point prior to the early 1900s. It still carries farm traffic and this may explain why its parapets have been removed. There is still some water in this length of canal but unsympathetic land drainage schemes, some as recent as the 1980s, have breached the bed of the canal resulting in a somewhat reduced level. This bridge is the subject of a Cotswold Canals Trust project to repair damaged stone and brickwork under and around the bridge. The parapets will not be rebuilt at this stage as the bridge is still in use by farm machinery.

Eysey Lock Bottom Gates - T&S Canal

The lock at Eysey marks the end of the 5 mile pound running from Dudgrove Double Lock through Kempsford and past Marston Meysey. The lock has a 7ft fall and was never shortened so retains its full 90ft length. The remains of both bottom gates survive but the paddle gear was removed by the Trust in the 1970s for safe keeping and potential re-use.

The top gates, which are just visible in a photo dating from the 1940s, have gone.

Eysey Lock Cottage in 1980

The Lock Cottage is very remote and was abandoned in the late 1960s. It was very much intact in 1980 but holes in the roof have now caused the decay and collapse of the ceilings and floors in places. The rapid decay of the cottages by the Daneway Portal and at Wildmoorway after they reached a similar state suggests that this building could be lost if nothing is done within the next few years.

Eysey itself (what remains of it) is nearly a mile west of the lock. The dry stone bridge carrying the small road over the canal was unusual but long gone.

T&S milestone

Just to the south of the site of the bridge is the entrance to Eysey Manor Farm. On each side of the driveway can be found T&S Canal Milestones each with its cast iron plate giving the distances to Inglesham and Wallbridge (Stroud). Their removal from their original canal side locations to here must have required quite a lot of effort.

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Copyright Ken Burgin 2002 - all rights reserved