Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Up Napton Locks in the sunshine and a non-existent footpath

After a leisurely start waiting for boats to appear at the bottom lock having done the flight, we set off up the Napton Locks.

Conditions were perfect and we didn't have to turn any locks as we met boats all the way up the flight. The above photo is of Jan steering Jubilee into the bottom lock. The Folly pub is on the left; you might just be able to see Napton Windmill on the skyline directly above the bridge.

Another visit from Ally and Josiah had been arranged; we found them waiting for us at the top lock. Here Jan is preparing to enter the lock.

We tied up using pins above the lock as a small colony of boats was on the piling. We're now grinding slightly against the bank. Our visitors stayed for lunch and tea. While Ally tried to get some sleep Jan and I took Josiah for a walk (Josiah in a sling-type carrier which Jan wore). I wanted to find the old pump house at the end of the Old Engine House Arm which comes off the long pound between locks 14 and 15. According to the map there is a footpath which runs right next to the road between Marston Doles and Napton and which leads to the old pump house. We walked down the road but saw no sign of the footpath. Back at Marston Doles Jan went back to the boat and I followed the footpath from the car park area by Bridge 119. I say "footpath"; in fact there is a waymarker arrow by a gate which I found impossible to open - once in the field there was no defined footpath. I headed in the direction indicated by the arrow - which accorded with the route on the map - and came to a barbed wire fence with no way through. I tried skirting round this, but came to more barriers. Eventually I had to give up. There must be an access for the boats moored on the old arm but I couldn't find it.

Fenny Compton Wharf tomorrow.


Neil Corbett said...

The boaters moored on the arm access it from the towpath side, walking over the nearby lock gates. You can see their cars parked in the field by the lock.

Halfie said...

Ah - I didn't think of investigating from the canal itself. But Nicholson's suggests that the remains of the old engine house can be explored from the footpath, the footpath that doesn't seem to exist.

ditchcrawler said...

We use to moor up the arm. The boaters access is private. We parked beside Adkins Lock, crossed the lock and walked along the canal. By boat you can only go half way up the arm and then there is only a pipe culvert where the bridge use to be and I understand the back pumping pipe crosses the arm. I will send Jan a photo

Halfie said...

Thanks for the extra info, Brian. Jan has shown me the photo.