070306.Monkton Combe, “Look Ma, No Hands!”

March 6, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Posted in Canals, countryside, Monkton Combe, people, Reflection, somerset | 6 Comments

070303.038.Somset.MonktonCombe.DundasAqueduct.basin.LookMa No Hands
Alright, as previewed in yesterday’s post, this shot series also takes place along the Dundas Aqueduct and the Dundas Wharf. The photos are in reverse order but the story on how they were taken is linear. There’s actually no story so everyone will figure it out.
I was photographing a dog sunning itself on board one of the canal boats with its tail dangling near the water when another canal boat sails past me. There was, as mentioned yesterday, no name on this black-red boat but the person driving it looked particularly stoic/annoyed (I’m not good at reading expressions). He had what the Americans call a fauxhawk, or what the Brits call “the fin,” and I think the best way to describe the expression on his face was that he looked like he had something up his…. Anyway, this guy was the only one on deck standing like Napoleon with one hand in his coat and the other somewhere else as he cruised over the aqueduct, which didn’t raise my curiosity despite the fact that this part of the canal especially requires steering.
The boat was moving slowly enough that I, and the six people I was with, got on a bridge nearby to take an “aerial shot” of the nice canal boat with its BBQ Grill figurehead, kayak lifeboat, bagged garbage, and potted Christmas Tree.
I took one of the bow and thought that would be good enough to post.
Then I thought, might as well stay another two seconds and get a shot of the bow with the kayak.
And since I had two-thirds of the boat, I thought might as well get the whole thing – and that’s when I, and the six others, found out how this boat is steered.
Can’t imagine you’d receive a driving permit with that technique.
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070305.Monkton Combe-Winsley, Flight of the Black Pig

March 5, 2007 at 1:23 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bridges, Canals, Chisel Marks, Conservation, countryside, Doric Order, Monkton Combe, people, river, River Avon, Riverboats, somerset, Trees, Wiltshire, Winsley | 6 Comments

070303.022.Somset.MonktonCombe.Dundas Aqueduct Basin
070303.023.Somset.MonktonCombe.Dundas Aqueduct Basin
The black riverboat is the Black Pig and it’s going over the Dundas Aqueduct, which means it is between Monkton Combe, Somerset and Winsley, Wiltshire (the lines aren’t exact so I might be wrong–also both a “symbolic counties” only.)
070303.031.Somset.MonktonCombe.DundasAqueduct.d.JohnRennie.1798-1805
The black-red riverboat doesn’t have a name, and perhaps for good reason because we’ll be checking up on it tomorrow. Are you excited? I know I would be if I were in your place. But I’m not. I took the photos and know what is going to happen. It’s nothing to be all that excited about but maybe I shouldn’t have told you that.

This 1798 aqueduct spans 150 feet of the Kennet and Avon Canal over the River Avon on three arches. In 1961, it was designated an Ancient Monument Grade I and three years later they “conserved” it by fixing up its leaks and relining it with concrete. Ironically, it was built on the inferior local Bath stone material instead of the recommended brick because before the canal was built brick was far more expensive than local stone, which would of course change after the completion of the canal. Of course, Bath stone became popular after the completion of this canal as well (as previously discussed in the Ralph Allen series.)

Dundas Aqueduct

“At the opposite extremity of the [Monkton Combe] Parish towards the east the stream of the Avon is spanned by the Dundas Aqueduct. This engineering work, very different in appearance and use from the Roman aqueducts, forms a beautiful object when seen from the top of the hill on which Limpley Stoke lies. It is in form a graceful bridge of Bath stone in three arches. But instead of a highroad, it carries the Kennet and Avon Canal across
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“Charles Dundas, after whom it is named, was a man of some eminence in his time. Born in 1751, he entered Parliament in 1774, and remained a member the rest of his life, being for the greater part of the time Member for Berkshire. His first wife brought him the estate of Kentbury, Amesbury in Wiltshire, and that brought him into connexion with Bath by means of the Kennet and Avon Canal. In the Act of Parliament passed for the construction of this canal the name of Charles Dundas occurs iin the long list of proprietors. But he appears really to have been one of the originators and chief promoters of the scheme. Probably his own estate benefited by it. But as the canal was a public work of great utility to the City of Bath and the Country of Wilts, Dundas must rank as a public benefactor, who deserves to be remembered. In 1832 he was raised to the peerage with the title Baron Amesbury. But in the same year he died [of cholera and is buried in Kintbury].
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“For the tablets and inscriptions on the two sides of the Aqueduct see [below].
“When the canal was opened in 1810 track boats for passengers were put upon it, called locally “the Scotch boats,” because built after a Scotch model; and it became a favourite amusement for the inhabitants of Bath to travel out in them in leisurely fashion to the Dundas Aqueduct, and spend the day at the Italian villa with grounds sloping down to the water, now occupied by Mrs. Freestun, but then a hotel.” –D. Lee Pitcairn and Alfred Richardson, An Historical Guide to Monkton Combe, Combe Down and Claverton (Bath: F. Goodall Printer, 1924), 30-31.

Read more with British Waterways [here], or on the very informative “Kennet and Avon Scrapbook.”

Dundas Aqueduct; plaque, south face.
TO CHARLES DUNDAS ESQ. / CHAIRMAN OF THE KENNET AND AVON CANAL COMPANY / FROM ITS COMMENCEMENT A.D. M.DCC.XCIII. / THE PROPRIETORS / MINDFUL OF HIS IMPORTANT SERVICES, / AND HIS UNREMITTED EXERTIONS / THROUGH A PERIOD OF XL YEARS, / GRATEFULLY INSCRIBE THIS TABLET. / A.D. M.DCCC.XXVIII

 

Dundas Aqueduct; plaque, north face.
TO THE MEMORY OF / JOHN THOMAS, / BY WHOSE SKILL, PERSEVERANCE AND INTEGRITY, / THE KENNET AND AVON CANAL / WAS BROUGHT TO A PROSPEROUS COMPLETION, / A.D. M.DCCC.X. / THE PROPRIETORS / GRATEFULLY INSCRIBE THIS TABLET. / A.D. M.DCCC.XXVIII

070303.Corston, “Pete Standing Alone”

March 3, 2007 at 12:31 AM | Posted in Canals, Corston, Light and Shadow, people, Riverboats, somerset, Trees | 3 Comments

070204.70.Somset.Corston
Sawing firewood on your deck for
a wood burning houseboat on the Kennet and Avon Canal.
If you could only smell the draft of smoke floating along the canal trail.
Life is simple and sweet.
Copy of 070204.31.Somset.Corston looking toward Kelston
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070302.Farleigh Wick, Dog Jogging

March 2, 2007 at 12:02 AM | Posted in Canals, countryside, Farleigh Wick, Light and Shadow, Reflection, Riverboats, somerset | 7 Comments

070222.10.Somset.Claverton.Farleigh Wick

A lot of people jog along the Kennet and Avon Canal, sometimes even with their dogs. This is, by the way, where all the dogs are in the Bath area. The city is full of cats and its only in the surrounding scenic countryside are the dogs visible.

boysrun

I also feel like running, or something, but I’m stuck in class all day and by the time I get out I won’t want to anymore.

070221.Dolmeads, Former Ralph Allen Wharf

February 21, 2007 at 1:55 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Bridges, Canals, Chisel Marks, Combe Down, Light and Shadow, river, River Avon, somerset, Waterfront, Widcombe | 5 Comments

Copy of 061216.066.Somset.Bath.WidcombeThis is the former wharf at the base of Combe Down hill between Widcombe and the Dolmeads where Ralph Allen sent his stone to. The locks connect the Kennet and Avon Canal with the River Avon. The river could transport his stone to Bristol and the canal could carry the stone via connections to the Thames. The site is now the Bath Hotel, I believe.
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070207.Corston.Prowling Near the Prow

February 7, 2007 at 12:10 AM | Posted in Architecture, Canals, Corston, Dogs, Gardens & Parks, Light and Shadow, river, River Avon, Riverboats, somerset | 2 Comments

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On February 5, 2007, NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak was arrested in Orlando, Florida. Police allege she was planning to kidnap and murder a romantic rival. “….She replied, “That was stupid.” During a search of Nowak’s car parked at a nearby motel, the police found a letter written by Nowak in which she proclaimed her love for [fellow astronaut] Oefelein, along with latex gloves, opened packages for both a buck knife and pepper spray, an unused BB cartridge, handwritten directions to Shipman’s house, copies of e-mails from Shipman to Oefelein, and diapers. The astronaut explained she had used the latter during the 900 mile drive from her home in Houston, Texas to Orlando so she did not have to stop to urinate (U.S. shuttle astronauts wear diapers during launch and re-entry). They also found receipts indicating Nowak paid only in cash during her trip from Houston, including for her hotel stay.” She drove this distance after Shipman boarded the plane in Houston to Orlando, after finding out Shipman was her rival. The incident occured after a hooded trench coat, sunglasses and wig-wearing Nowak ran after Shipman in the parking lot to prevent Shipman from locking the car door. Oh, and Oefelein, the astronaut at the centre of these two women already was married and has two kids….

061210.Bath, Sunday Fishin’

December 10, 2006 at 6:55 PM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Bathwick, Bridges, Canals, Claverton Down, countryside, Peephole Views, people, river, somerset | 8 Comments

061024.016.Somset.Bath.Bathwick.Kennet and Avon Canal.Just Fishin

Going to be busy for a while and can’t get out. Enjoy some photos from a while ago. This was fishing on the Kenneth and Avon Canal.

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