The Ashby Canal ends just beyond Snarestone, though it used to extend another 8 miles to the mines at Moira. Snarestone is a village on top of the canal tunnel which is only 250 yards long but has a distinct kink in the middle.
|Approaching Snarestone Tunnel|
|Last bridge on Ashby Canal in the evening sunlight|
Soon after rejoining the Coventry Canal we came to Hawkesbury Junction where the Oxford Canal links with it. This is a very difficult junction to turn with a long narrowboat and has a pub, the Greyhound right on the turn so that there are lots of spectators when you make a mess of it.
|Engine House at Hawkesbury Junction - steam engine used to pump water from a deep well into the canal|
|'Cash's Hundred Houses' - top story had steam driven weaving looms|
|Lych Gate Cottages|
|New Cathedral seen from the top of the tower of the old Cathedral|
|Fourteenth Century Houses by the Guildhall|
After staying last night just after the junction we have continued down the Oxford Canal today in remarkably warm and sunny weather. Long may it continue. This part of the Oxford Canal was constructed in the late 18th century by James Brindley who was famous for building canals which followed the contours very closely. As a result they tended to wind all over the countryside. This part of the Canal used to be 36 miles long but was shortened in the 1830s by 14 miles, by putting in lots of straight embankments and cuttings. Some of the old loops which were cut off remain as boatyards and moorings. These often begin with splendid cast iron bridges like this one:
Towards the end of today's run we enjoyed the shade of the Newbold Tunnel, another short tunnel:
|Newbold tunnel - pretty coloured lights|
|Curly horned Bull|
In the next few days we will be passing through Braunston, probably the busiest place on the canal network and then joining the Southern part of the Oxford Canal towards Banbury and on to Oxford.