Bowds Lane, SN15 4DT

When the Canal was still in use the road, Bowds Lane, crossed the chamber of lock 2 of the flight of seven locks by means of a lift bridge.  That has now been filled in, and the road re-aligned.  The towpath remains accessible and clear – about 100m west of the steel gate is the top of lock 1.  This needs substantial repair but, from the experience of several of our volunteers who have worked on other lock chamber restorations on the Wilts & Berks, we consider this project possible.  The chamber was recently excavated for exploratory purposes, with the help of a 3-tonne excavator on loan from the farmer (our thanks go to Phil Smith of Waite Hill Farm).  We are arranging for a team of professional surveyors to do a survey of the remains and provide us with the drawings and plans we’ll need for a planning application to Wiltshire Council. 

We are keeping the area around the lock strimmed to be visible, and we are also regularly mowing the towpath from Bowds Lane to the lane leading to Waite Hill Farm.  The towpath from Bowds Lane to just above Lock 1 is owned by the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust.  We are working with the farmer who owns Lock 1 and the towpath from there westwards, across the farm track, to a gate which carries our sign to indicate that the towpath beyond that gate is not yet open to the public.