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The Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal
The Wendover Canal Arm - Part of our summer cruise 2008 down the GUC to London
Many waterways help to make up the Grand Union Canal today with 'arms' and 'lines' linking together, forming one canal artery between London and southern industrial centres and the Midlands, Birmingham and the Potteries.
The Grand Union Canal, formerly the Grand Junction Canal, as its name implies, was designed to be part of a much greater system of canals linking the rest of England.
From its junction with the River Thames the GUC climbs 56 locks in over 36 miles to reach the two and a half mile long Tring Summit. Here the descent starts northwards towards Braunston.
The Tring Summit was completed in 1797, ahead of the main line Grand Junction Canal to north and south. As the Tring Summit water was to supply the water needs of the canal in both directions from the summit it became imperative to find a sufficient water supply. The Wendover Arm became the first of several feeders to the Tring Summit level.
Following an Act of Parliament, Work started on the development of the Wendover Arm in the summer of 1793 and followed the 390ft contour line. The Wendover arm of the Grand Union Canal begins in foothills of the Chilterns at Wendover where it gathers water and winds its way past the RAF base at Halton and through Aston Clinton village then passing under the A41 bypass. The then un navigable course winds it's way towards Little Tring, where the navigation recommences before joining the main Grand Union Canal proper at Bulbourne.
We could only cruise from Bulbourne Junction as far as the winding hole beyond bridge 3 at Little Tring as the restoration work has not yet been completed to join the two navigable sections.
We moored at bridge 3 on the 48 hour visitor moorings and walked the mile into the picturesque town of Tring and visited The free entry Natural History Museum/Tring.
We look forward to returning in a few years time to complete the cruise.
The Wendover Arm Trust holds an annual Canal Festival on the May Bank Holiday weekend.
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