Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Aylesbury Arm, Grand Union Canal

The Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Junction Canal (later part of the Grand Union Canal) was a 10km long arm of the canal branching off the main line near Marsworth and ending near to the centre of Aylesbury. The arm was a fairly late addition to the canal network. Work started on it in 1811 and finished in 1814.
The canal was never intended to be a dead end arm, the original plan had been to continue the canal past Aylesbury to link up to the Thames at Abingdon - a scheme known as the Western Junction Canal. However landowners West of Aylesbury refused to let the canal continue past the town and through their land.

The canal arm has sixteen locks as it drops nearly 30m from Marsworth to Aylesbury. Unlike the Grand Junction Canal the Aylesbury Arm has narrow locks, this was due to difficulties with water supplies.

The Aylesbury Arm was used to transport agricultural produce, building supplies and coal. The arrival of the railways ruined the arm's profitabiity though commercial traffic continued into the 1950s. Now the arm a popular stop for leisure boaters and visitors.
One of the many boats using the arm

Circus Field Basin

Development at the end of the arm in Aylesbury