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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Trunks, horses, cows etc.

We had a late start from Old Wolverton as we weren't going very far today. In fact we only traveled a third of a mile before mooring up again!

We popped down to have a look at the Iron Trunk Aquaduct. It always looks more impressive when a boat is going over.

To pass under canal is this horse path although it says that it was for the use of men and cattle rather than horses. I did wonder the river Great Ouse had been navigable at some stage and had a towing path and so the Aqueduct builders had to maintain the right of way. It is very small for a horse to pass through though. Mind you the horse tunnel at Cosgrove is called that and it is about the same dimensions.

This Iron Trunk aqueduct is actually the third crossing of the Great Ouse. The first was a set of five locks on either side of the river. The first from the north was the present one at Cosgrove and then another five up the other side back up to the line. This was used whilst the constructed the crossing that was originally in brick. This collapsed in 1808 and the locks were put into use again until the present structure was put in place in 1811 and the locks abandoned as the Great Ouse does flood. This is the view to the south of the old line of locks.

Pontcysyllte Aquaduct is obviously a lot higher than this one, and it is of narrow gauge. That means that you can not collide with the side of the iron trough. This one is wide gauge so it would be possible damage the side more easily. That makes me a little more uneasy that the higher one! Chris is looking down either!

We stopped for water above the lock at Cosgrove to we had moored up twice in less than a mile! We were soon full up again with the rubbish dumped and threading our way through the boats moored at Cosgrove. Is it just me or does Soloman's Bridge look as though it is eroding at a great rate? It looks in much worse state every time we pass. Once every couple of years or so that is.

I bet the cows were cursing that the water level appeared to be down in this long pound. 

The water levels may be down but there is still plenty of room for a couple of wide beams to pass here! After mooring up about a mile further along from Thrupp Wharf, which I learn should actually be called Castlethorpe Wharf, we walked up to Yardley Gobion. It must have been a busy place as there was room for 8 boats to moor and there was a yard for coke and coal, a lime kiln, a warehouse for storing grain, a salt house, granaries and a weigh bridge. There were also stables for eleven horses. There was a pub next to the wharf too.

As we looked back across the valley of the River Tove we could see the church spire of St. James the Great at Hanslope. The original church was Norman but the spire was built in the 15th century. It was originally 200' tall but it was brought down by a lightening strike in 1804. It was rebuilt but only to 186'. It is still the tallest in Bucks. and you seem to be able to see it for days when on this section of the canal..

The Coffee Pot at Yardley Gobion was open so we thought it would be rude not to go in and have a look, especially as Chris was buying. It is an unusual name for a pub so I asked what it was named after and apparently down by Yardley there was a brick kiln. The owner decided to build a pub and as the kiln looked like a coffee pot of the day he called it that! It was later also a coaching inn and today has a cafe next to the pub and it all looks very nice indeed. they also do B&B and I would stay. Yardley means the clearing in the wood where poles or yards are collected and Gobion was the name of a family that lived here  from 1160 to 1383.
Opposite the well and pump that supplied the village into the 1930's stands Stokebank House that has a tablet saying it was built in 1901 over the door. I thought that the style of the building may well mean it was an actual Bank, but it isn't. After a little search I can only find names of some of those that have died there. Arthur Smith was killed in WWI in 1918 leaving a window. Thomas Henry De Blois died there age 61 and Mary Pedersen died their aged 2 hours!!

When we got back to the boat I had a quick sand down of some areas on the rail that have been caught over the summer and covered them with Ferratan readu for a primer later.

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