|Tug Harry nestles in the steep valley|
|Claverton water powered pumping station fed the canal|
And the next day we walked a couple of miles to Limpley Stoke and discovered that was shut too. It was Monday but the pub was closed, the garage was closed, the village shop (if it was ever open) was closed.
Even the main A36 road was shut – and had been for four months – because it was crumbling down the hill towards the canal. And that meant that the Spar shop in the local petrol station was shut too!
The only place that was open was the Angelfish Cafe at Brassknocker Basin at the end of the surviving stub of the Somersetshire Coal Canal which joined the canal by the Dundas Aqueduct. So we consoled ourselves with an excellent lunch in the sun there.
|The causeway across the Avon at pretty Warleigh Weir|
The weir lies at one end of an island formed by the river and the millstream that feeds Claverton waterwheel which in turn fed the canal. These days an electric pump does the job though the waterwheel still turns on special days.
The island is rough meadow and a popular spot for local picnickers and swimmers – though not so popular as to be crowded or frighten away the birdlife. We spotted a couple of resident kingfishers though they resolutely refused to pose for the camera.
The little villages of Claverton and Limpley Stoke, further down the canal by the spectacular Aqueduct, are picture postcard pretty though, to judge by the stature of the houses, were always distinctly affluent.
|Grand Warleigh Manor hides in the trees above the weir|
|But is dwarfed by the huge Claverton Manor opposite|
|The mile long Manor drive is now a B-road|
|The tomb of postal pioneer Ralph Allen|
Tonight we are moored in picturesque Bradford on Avon and on the first of doubtless many appalling K&A moorings – three feet out from the edge and yet still aground!
You can find delightful new spots on this canal but some of its horrors are still the same.