Friday, 15 July 2011

Yarningale Aqueduct

Yarningale Aqueduct
Stratford Canal
3 June 2009

Update May 2011
Another trip and another set of photos:

Yarningale is part of a trio of aqueducts on the South Stratford Canal. Whereas Edstone is the longest in England this diminutive structure must rank as one of the shortest - a runty 42 feet, so short that even Wand'ring Bark can't be contained within its cast iron trough.

Yarningale Aqueduct - Captain Ahab's own collection
This is the second single span aqueduct to be built on the site, crossing a small stream near Preston Bagot. The first was a wooden affair, built in 1812 and washed away by a flood in 1834, caused by a surge from the Grand Union. It's replacement, the aqueduct we see today, was erected in an astonishing 27 days in 1834, having been cast at the Horsley Ironworks, whose output graces much of the BCN.

The aqueduct comes as something of a surprise, with its 9 foot wide channel leading directly into the top of Bucket Lock (number 34) and appears for all the world to be an extended narrows. Boaters therefore find themselves coming to a stop just before the top gates and unexpectedly looking down at a stream passing through a densely wooded valley.

Like its counterpart at Wootton Wawen, the cast iron trough was made without an expansion joint and this resulted in the inevitable split, this time over one of the abutments. Yarningale aqueduct formed part of the "three aqueducts" project in 2003, when major repairs were undertaken to the brick buttresses and the trough, where years of frost damage and corrosion was corrected and the structure rendered safe for many years to come.

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