Friday, 21 August 2009

Wolverton Aqueduct

Wolverton (or Cosgrove) Aqueduct
Grand Union Canal
21st August 2009

The Wolverton Aqueduct is something of a late entrant to the world of canal aqueducts, hence its iron construction rather than the more common stone / brick. The aqueduct carries the Grand Union Canal (or the Grand Junction Canal as it was then known) over the Great Ouse.

Photo courtesy of Jay Tilston
Know locally as the "Iron Trunk" this structure was built between 1809 and 1811 by Benjamin Bevin to replace an earlier William Jessop aqueduct, which consisted of a wooden trough supported on brick piers. This older aqueduct collapsed in 1808 and its base piers can still be seen.

This replacement trough was cast at Ketley Ironworks in 18 sections ,with side plates bolted on at varying angles. The towpath is cantilevered out from the trough riding 35"' 6" above the river.

I seem to remember reading that a tremporary flight of locks was built down to the Ouse whilst the new aqueduct was built - but I may be wrong?

This area could soon be the scene of further change, as and when the long awaited Fens Link to is built along the course of the Ouse, expanding the cruising scope for widebeamed craft.

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