Regent’s Canal Walk

Mr Bradshaw mentioned the Regent’s Canal some months ago. The section from Paddington to Camden opened in 1816, and the remainder in 1820. I am going contrary to history and I am going to follow the Canal from the Thames to Grand Junction Basin (Paddington) where the Regent’s Canal joins the Grand Union Canal, 13.8km or 8.6 miles.

The Regent’s Canal Dock opened in 1820. Seagoing ships and lighters anchored here to offload cargo on to barges for onward transportation along the Regent’s Canal. It was particularly important for the supply of coal to gasworks and electricity generating stations along the canal. Today the Dock is known as The Limehouse Basin.

Cruchley's New Plan of London, 1827
Cruchley’s New Plan of London, 1827 (Mapco)
Regent's Canal Dock, 1828 (Wikipedia)
Regent’s Canal Dock, 1828 (Wikipedia)

The Accumulator Tower created the steam which powered the cranes in the basin between 1869 and the 1920s. (Article and more photos.)

The Accumulator
The Accumulator Tower

The story of the merger of the Regent’s Canal Basin and The Limehouse Cut Basin is complicated, but in brief it is a story of decline of river trade, a merger of basins, a rationalisation of entries & exits from three to one, and a change from trade to luxury living and marinas!

Limehouse lock - entry from the Thames
Limehouse lock – entry from the Thames
Old barges & new yachts in the Limehouse Basin
Old barges & new yachts in the Limehouse Basin
The Limehouse Basin
The Limehouse Basin

The London and Blackwall Railway operated on a line above the wharves between 1840 and 1968, connecting the City with the docklands. The iron fencing was a feature of the line which is now used by the DLR.

The original railway viaduct and the new DLR
The original railway viaduct and the new DLR

Enough of the Basin – we need to start walking!

The Regent's Canal entry/exit to the Limehouse Basin
The Regent’s Canal entry/exit (right) to the Limehouse Basin (weir on left), crossed by the Commercial Road

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s