Saturday, 16 June 2007

History Lesson.

0 Locks 12½ Miles 2 Swing bridges. Now moored at Devizes Wharf
401 locks, 544½ miles, 17 Tunnels, 13 swing bridges and 9 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Today was just an easy cruising day. The only worry was the weather. Ominous black clouds started to gather not long after we set off and again we heard distant thunder which luckily amounted to nothing. We did however get one good pour of rain which gave us a bit of a soaking but we pushed on.
At one point the canal became very narrow with high reeds on both banks which gave us a feeling of the “African Queen” exploring the head waters of the Nile.
As there were no locks today Dot decide
d to make use of the extra power and did a wash and run the vacuum cleaner around.
Along the way we passed through a very wide stretch of waterway naturally called Wide Water which in 1793 was owned by Lady Susannah Wroughton who objected to the canal cutting through her land. To appease her she was paid £500 and a very ornate bridge across the canal was built.

We also saw the terraced fields on Pickled hill which is a relic of Celtic and medieval cultivation.
Passing through Honey Street we could see the carved white horse on the distant hillside of Alton Barnes. A contractor was originally paid to carve the horse in the chalk hillside in 1812 but he took the money and ran so the horse was not completed for some time.

Arriving in Devizes we were treated to some very tidy and ornate gardens running down to the waterside. Luckily we arrived in time to get two of the last three 72 hour moorings available between bridges 140 and 141.
This evening we met Fiona and John from n/b Epiphany which is moored at present in the Devizes marina. We spent a very pleasant hour or so chatting about narrowboats, the cut and our many internet narrowboat friends. Nice to be able to put faces to another boat.

John and Fiona of Narrowboat Epiphany

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