The capital city's waterways

Basingstoke Canal – Woodham to St Johns Locks

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The full 37 and half miles from the Wey to Basingstoke

The Basingstoke Canal up to this point has been fairly straight as canals go, and the scene has been rather urban. After the ascent of the Woodham flight, the canal takes on a rather more rural character, with attractive houses dotted here and there. The canal winds its way through the surburbs of Woking.

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Stone sett in canalside garden near Woodham top lock showing date of opening (1794)

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White Heather, a former Regents Tug, moored near Monument Bridge

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Monument Bridge. There was once a wharf here, as evidenced by the remains of this crane. The site was known as Britannia Wharf. The modern flats are on a piece of land that used to belong to a glass factory.

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The offical re-opening site at Spantons Wharf, near Chertsey Road Bridge, with the plaque on its plinth

The plaque reads: The Basingstoke Canal. Orignally built 1789-1794. Restored by Surrey and Hamposhire County Councils, the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society and other Voluntary Organisations during 1974-1991 and formally re-opened by HRH THE DUKE OF KENT on 10th May 1991. Woking Borough Council held a celebration festival on this site, Spanton’s Wharf, on 11th May 1991

Spantons yard was the wharf where the very last commercial barges on the Basingstoke Canal traded to from the Thames in the 1950’s

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The canal at Chobham Road Bridge

Chobham Road Bridge (also known as Wheatsheaf or Hospital Bridge) is quite an elaborate affair, with its fancy lamposts. Nearby Chertsey Road Bridge has similar adornments. The towpath has remained on the south side of the canal since the River Wey, but now takes to the north side at Chobham Road Bridge. As a general rule, Basingstoke towpath changes are not effected by turnover bridges, but by crossing the road at which the bridge stands. The moorings here at Horsell Wharf have posts that depict the Basingstoke Canal’s seal of 1789 (the year it was begun) as shown further below

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The new Lightbox art gallery alongside Horsell Wharf. The mooring posts can be seen and these are the most elaborate on the enitre canal

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The Basingstoke seal as depicted on the mooring posts at Woking

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View of Victoria footbridge at Woking (Horsell) Wharf. This gives access to the shopping centres. The bridge was completed in the borough’s centenary year of 1994

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Skew Bridge, Woking

The canal at Skew bridge has blended in quite well with the new development

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Despite its fairly traditional appearance, this concrete bridge adjacent to Slococks or Bridge Barn is known as Arthur’s Bridge

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Slococks Nursery section – now the Bridge Barn

The Bridge Barn and Arthurs Bridge herald this apparently peaceful scene. In the summer it can be a busy place with pub goers, and there is also a new road that runs adjacent to the towpath for some distance towards Goldsworth Park, adding bustle and noise to the otherwise apparently peaceful scene. In the distance can be seen another new bridge, it carries the road to Goldsworth and Knaphill. In between the boat and the new bridge was an area known as Slocock’s Nursery. This lay on both sides of the canal and the nursery was interconnected by means of a private chain ferry across the Basingstoke Canal. Just before Arthurs bridge (coming from Woking) there is a new footbridge called Step Bridge, built on the site of an older sturcture of the same name.

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Parley Drive Bridge

The new road crossing for Knaphill and Goldsworth destinations. This bridge seems to have recieved some inspiration from a much older type that crosses the canal at the Hermitage, except that in this case, the towpath does not go through the smaller right hand archway as at the Hermitage. The structure is called Parley Drive Bridge

Next: St Johns Locks

WOODHAM JUNCTION TO GREYWELL

Intro / Byfleet – Woodham Locks / Woodham – St. Johns / St. Johns – Hermitage / Brookwood – Pirbright / Deepcut Flight / Deepcut – Frimley / Basingstoke Canal Centre / Great Bottom – Ash / Ash lock – Norris Hill / Fleet – Crookham / Chequers – Barley Mow / Barley Mow – Odiham / Odiham – Greywell

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