The Royal Arsenal Canal today

Looking from the former canal entrance, across the coal pier, towards the Woolwich free ferry, the Thames Barrier, Canary Wharf and Central London. The flats on the extreme right are built on land where the Woolwich class narrow boats were once built. A look at the waterway The canal is today known as ‘Broadwater,’ but the name doesnt belie the […]

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History of the Royal Arsenal Railway

(The following section on the railway was kindly written for London Canals by Ian Bull of the Crossness Engines Trust) The Royal Arsenal’s railways began in 1824 with a horse drawn plateway that was regarded as complete by 1840 when it had reached 15 miles in length. It’s likely that it’s design was based largely on that of the Surrey […]

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The Royal Arsenal Canal – The waterway serving the Woolwich military complex

The Royal Arsenal (or Woolwich Arsenal) canal was designed by Lietunant Colonel Pilkington and built between 1812-14, and extended again by 1816. It had a dual purpose – one was to deliver materials into the heart of the Royal Arsenal military complex and the other was to create a defence boundary to the east. It does not seem that it […]

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The Lee Navigation – Ware Park, New Gauge and Hertford

The final section of the Lee Navigation is just over three miles long. The course of the River Lea has been utilised since the weir below Ware bridge. The approach to Ware lock is actually a man made channel built to avoid the local mill. The navigation uses the River Lea for a further stretch after Ware lock before making […]

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