From Greywell tunnel to Brick Kiln Bridge
The full 37 and half miles from the Wey to Basingstoke
The narrows where the tunnel portal originally stood. This end of the tunnel has disappeared by about 25 yards
Two views of the portal at Greywell tunnel
The canal bed is pretty evident west of the tunnel, sometimes in water and sometimes dry. This large tree has fallen across the channel.
Below is the first bridge on the western section – Eastrop Bridge. The very last bridge on the canal, in Basingstoke itself, was also called Eastrop bridge. This confusing state of affairs ceased when the one in Basingstoke was dropped and the canal underneath culverted in 1927. The deep cutting that extends westwards from Greywell must be almost a mile long, and it is thanks to this cutting that the last few remaining bridges on the Basingstoke Canal stand.
Eastrop bridge in Up Nately still stands, its twin in Basingstoke was demolished in the 1920’s
The canal between Eastrop and Slade bridges
The next bridge westwards from Eastrop Bridge is known as Slade Bridge, this view looks eastwards
Brickworks Arm crossing. The footbridge takes the towpath across the arm leading to Nately Brickworks, the main canal itself turning sharply southwards away to the left. At this point there used to be a lift bridge. The arm was last used possibly as early as 1901 (however another official account suggests 1908) and from then traffic west of Greywell declined considerably, all traffic ceasing by October 1910, and three years later the very last commercial boat – appropriately ‘Basingstoke’ – on Alfred Harmsworth’s epic voyage in 1913. This does not discount the possibility that maintenance boats may have traversed the tunnel and along the canal as far as Brick Kiln Bridge – where the stop planks marked the end of the canal’s navigable section from 1910 to 1932 – until the tunnel’s collapse in that year prevented any further passage
Below: The information board at the entrance to the Brickworks Arm. The inset picture features two narrowboats at the western portal of Little Tunnel about 1900.
Views of the Brickworks Arm, with the attractive cottage that now stands on the site of the brickworks (above left) The basin was raised at one side with a retaining brick wall, and on the opposite side (as shown above right) the basin was brick lined too. I suppose it was easy to make copious use of bricks at this location
BRICKWORKS ARM – PENNY BRIDGE
A view looking along the Basingstoke Canal from the Brickworks Arm footbridge towards Up Nately
Despite the canal’s proximity in Up Nately, there has been virtually no sign of the village itself until now. These new houses give Up Nately a visible presence along the canal
A view looking towards Brick Kiln Bridge. This stretch of the canal parallels the main street in Up Nately, but one wouldnt think otherwise. Those using the road through the village may spot the tops of the bridges on the north side. It was at this point that the Basingstoke Canal was stopped off in 1910 when it was decided it was no longer worth maintaining the section westwards. Brick Kiln bridge is where the lengthy cutting westwards from the tunnel ends, and its just a short distance westwards to the end of the watered canal at Penny Bridge
Next: Towards Penny Bridge