Monday, 24 June 2013

Aqueducts and Splendid Architecture

We've had an interesting few days but we are now moored above the locks in Bath.

Leo has been making a loud 'clonk' noise when engaging forward gear for a few days now and it has been getting worse.  I feared we may have gearbox problems so we called into 'The Boatyard' (yes that's really its name) at Hilperton on Saturday morning.  The boatyard is run by Spencer and Victoria Collins and they were very helpful.  Spencer diagnosed our problem with one simple look below at the engine.  It appears that we have had a small diesel leak for some time and the diesel has seeped down onto one of the engine mountings.  Diesel dissolves rubber so that engine mount is now useless and our engine has effectively been sitting on only 3 rather than four mounts.  No wonder we had the vibration and noise.  So we booked Leo in for some tlc (and new engine mounts) on Sunday.

We carried on to Bradford on Avon on Saturday.  We loved Bradford which has loads of fine architecture on terraces up the hillside from the river:

This is the inside of one of the largest and most complete Tithe Barns in the country.  It was built in the 14th century and has this magnificent roof.

Here is one of the lovely narrow streets running up the hillside from the main street.

This really surprised us.  It is a Saxon Church built in the 8th century and extended in the 10th century and little altered since.  Most of our churches were knocked about by the Normans, but not this one which became incorporated in a larger secular building and was only rediscovered for what it is in the 19th century.

And this is the bridge over the River Avon.  The canal is higher up the hill to the South.

In the afternoon we had a lovely cream tea at the Bridge Tea Rooms where the waitresses are all dressed in Victorian dress and the choice of teas is considerable.  While we were inside, this strange vehicle drew up outside:

And this is where we ate on Saturday evening with Ian's sister, Ruth, and brother in law, Peter:

We liked the pub sign but the food was also pretty good and the Wadworth's 6X was truly excellent.

On Sunday we returned to the Boatyard where Leo was placed under the tender care of Spencer for the day.  It was late by the time he had finished, including some extra jobs like replacing the primary fuel filter/water separator, so we were allowed to stay at the yard and to take up their recommendation for the neighbouring Chinese takeaway which was very good.

Today we've pressed on to Bath coming back through Bradford on Avon.  Leo feels like a new boat with less noise and vibration and a more responsive engine.  Thank you Spencer.  Here we are coming through Bradford Lock with a day boat full of smiling people for whom this was their first lock:
In Bradford Lock
The canal journey to Bath then crosses two wonderful aqueducts, Avoncliffe and Dundas as it swops to one side of the narrow valley of the River Avon and then back again.
Avoncliffe Aqueduct - in fact this view is taken looking back

View down to the River Avon from the Aqueduct

View down to the railway below the Aqueduct

Dundas Aqueduct - didn't the Victorians do this sort of thing well?

Approaching Bath you begin to see the famous terraces up the hillside and this evening we walked beside the flight of 6 locks down to the Avon which we shall be doing later.  We then walked up the River which is now just 60 feet below us to have a quick look at the town.

This is a view of Bath as we came in along the canal.

This is Cleveland House which was the original headquarters of the Canal company and sits appropriately on top of a short tunnel on the canal above Bath

This is called Bath Deep Lock for a reason.  Because of a road improvement scheme two locks were rebuilt as a single lock so it is 19 feet deep  You can just see a boat in the lock so that gives an idea of scale.

This is a view of the River Avon and you can see the exit of the canal onto the river through the arched bridge on the right.

This is the famous Poultney Bridge and Weir in Bath.  We aim to come up to the Weir and turn just below when we come down to the River with Leo.

This is the view of Poultney Bridge.  The shops on either side are actually on the bridge itself.  When passing along the street, you can see the river through their windows.

Tomorrow we plan to have a proper look around Bath and will probably stay moored in the same place.  On Wednesday or perhaps Thursday we'll carry on down the locks and take to the River Avon with the aim of reaching Bristol by the end of this week.

1 comment:

  1. Ian and Helen - if you meet Trevor the lock keeper at Hanham please give him my love. He is such a lovely man and will give you any help you need. He lives in the house alongside the lock.

    I move in on Thursday!



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