Places around the Basingstoke Canal
Next to Swan bridge on the Basingstoke Canal is the Swan Inn. This used to be popular with the boatmen whose barges worked the canal in its heyday
The crossing of the Whitewater at Warnborough Green near the lift bridge on the Basingstoke Canal (there’s also a short cut from the canal towpath by King Johns Castle across fields) Rarely do vehicles risk this crossing, but I remember driving my small car across it whilst surveying the canal in 1979. I stopped the car in the middle to see how deep it was – and nearly let the river in! Imagine my feelings when I found there was yet another ford to cross just a short distance away. I’m not sure if these fords are actually located in North Warnborough or Warnborough Green. Both names seem to be used on local information boards and its probably both as the river forms the boundary
A different view of the ford at Warnborough Green. From here it looks like a village pond
North Warnborough Greens is the area to the east of the fords. There are footpaths across the greens to the main road. There’s some confusion clearly because some signs say plain Warnborough Green
Ponies at Warnborough Green
Bartley Heath and Warnborough Greens are noted for their free-roaming ponies. Whilst its not quite the New Forest, some areas do give the impression of being in the New Forest. Bartley Heath is near Hook, a short walk to the north
The Bartley Heath ponies
A different view of Odiham (or King John’s) castle. The perspex board shows what the keep would have looked like when it was in use.
Odiham Castle is said to have been built at this location because it was halfway between Windsor and Winchester. One factor for chosing this location was the sweeping arc in which the River Whitewater rounded the site and this provided a good defense boundary. The castle had a moat as well so must have been quite a fortification. There was a means of controlling the River Whitewater by sluices or similar so that the entire plain around the castle could be flooded if so needed. The cost of builoding was said tobe about £1000. In its later years it was used as a hunting lodge in connection with the nearby Royal Deer Park. By 1605 it had become a ruin
One of the attractively illustrated information boards at the castle – telling the story of King John
The River Whitewater flows through the Mill House restaurant. This opened as a hostelry in 1986 and the building is an old brick and timber framed structure, there’s a tea room and restaurateurs are able to dine next to the waterwheel. The grounds has a boating lake and ducks.
Weblink: Mill House
WOODHAM JUNCTION TO GREYWELL
Introduction / Byfleet – Woodham Locks / Woodham – St. Johns / St. Johns – Hermitage / Brookwood – Pirbright / Deepcut Flight / Deepcut – Frimley / Basingstoke Canal Centre / Great Bottom Flash – Ash Vale / Ash lock – Norris Hill / Fleet – Crookham / Chequers – Barley Mow / Barley Mow – Odiham / Odiham – Greywell
GREYWELL TUNNEL TO BASINGSTOKE