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Daneway marks the western limit of the summit level of
the T&S Canal and from this point westwards, the canal descends rapidly
There are 7 locks in quick succession, the first being under the Daneway
Arms car park and the following six in the woods below Daneway Bridge. Photos
survive of this length of canal in the years leading to the abandonment of
this part of the canal but water is usually absent even though the gates
were still in place.
The young River Frome runs parallel and sometimes under the canal works as
both descend towards Chalford. The two were interconnected at many points
with small feeder culverts and overflow weirs but these structures, which
would have kept the canal in water for at least some of the year, have been
neglected and in some cases deliberately blocked.
Some of the locks in the upper Golden Valley go by a number of different
names in groups of two or three although really this is a more or less continuous
flight of 7 locks.
Between Daneway Upper Lock (sometimes called Daneway Bridge or Summit Lock)
and Daneway Lower Lock (sometimes called Daneway Basin Lock) is the concrete
lined Daneway Basin. This was built as a temporary terminus while the tunnel
was being finished. A few years ago, the then owner decided to infill the
basin with builders rubble without planning consent. On discovering he needed
it, he increased the speed at which he was filling in the basin in the expectation
of getting retrospective planning permission - big mistake! Cotswold District
Council, with full backing of the Cotswold Canals Trust made him remove all
but a thin layer to cover the floor of the basin and it therefore remains
visible (in spite of attempts to screen it off) as an important heritage
feature of the canal.
The Sickeridge Wood and Bathurst Meadow Locks are difficult to photograph
due to overgrowth but a walk along the towpath here is very rewarding as
lock after lock is passed.
Whitehall Lower Lock marks the bottom of the initial flight of 7 locks and
it is a significant distance to Whitehall Lower Lock. On the way, Whitehall
Bridge is passed with its 1784 date stone on the west side of the arch. This
was the point dividing the eastern section of the canal which was abandoned
in 1927 and the western part which remained open until 1933. Why here? -
we don't really know. It might have been to secure water supplies entering
the canal just east of the bridge or perhaps something to do with potential
timber carriage from the adjacent woods.
A narrow section of canal leads eventually to Whitehall Lower Lock and it
is not then far to the two Puck Mill Locks. There was once a substantial
mill nearby of a size common further down the valley but no obvious trace
of it remains. The floor of the valley upstream of here once formed a substantial
mill pond, but even so, there must have been long periods when there was
insufficient water for milling.
Puck Mill Upper lock has a bridge over its tail and an aqueduct carrying
the Frome underneath the whole structure - it, the lower lock and a significant
length of canal here is owned by the Cotswold Canals Trust following a land
swap of a former lock keeper's cottage.
The pound between the two Puck Mill Locks was completely relined with clay
in the early 1900s but today it leaks like a sieve and only holds water after
exceptionally wet periods.
The pound below Puck Mill Lower Lock often has some water in it as it is
linked to the adjacent Bakers Mill reservoir which was once owned by the
T&S Canal company.
Bakers Mill Upper Lock has been allowed to fall into a poor condition with
substantial trees growing out of the structure and the road bridge below
has been strengthened with concrete. The section between the two Bakers Mill
Locks was concreted about a 100 years ago and would, if it were not for a
hole broken through the dam at the head of Bakers Mill Lower Lock, be full
A long pound follows which passes the old Chalford waterworks and a restored
milestone with replica plate. This leads to Golden Valley (or Valley) Lock
which has received considerable restoration work at its top end by the CCT.
The bridge at the tail of this lock may prove to be the one providing the
lowest headroom of any along the canal.
The pound leading from Golden Valley Lock to Clowes (or Red Lion) Lock runs
adjacent to the river with the railway clinging to the hill side on the offside.
Clowes Lock itself is of stone construction with a stone in the bridge at
its tail noting that Josiah Clowes was the Engineer responsible for the canal.
The canal carries on within the narrow confines of the valley before reaching
the Bell Lock and the A419 at the bottom of Cowcombe Hill. Only the head
of Bell Lock is visible today as the rest has been infilled and culverted
but a series of mason's marks can be seen in the visible stonework. The lock
is probably intact under the fill and Bell Bridge under the A419 most certainly
is as it is possible get inside and see the arch and walls.