The canal runs along the northern edge of Regents Park, passing London Zoo about which Mr Bradshaw has a great deal to say in his Hand Book to London of 1862. I, however, feel uncomfortable about confining wild animals and so include only a rather vague photograph of the zoo and pass on.
The Macclesfield Bridge was named after Lord Macclesfield (George Parker, 4th Earl of Macclesfield and a Chairman of the Regent’s Canal Company), and is the northern entry to Regent’s Park. It is also known as ‘Blowup Bridge’ because on 10 October 1874 the barge Tilbury, loaded with petrol and 5 tonnes of gunpowder and one of a train of six barges, caught fire and exploded under the bridge, destroying the bridge, killing the crew, and damaging houses in the area. It is the grandest bridge on the Canal, with fluted columns cast by the Coalbrookdale Company, and was rebuilt in the original design.
The final stretch of the canal alongside Regent’s Park is overlooked by grand mansions designed by Quinlan and Francis Terry LLP and built between 1988 and 2004, although in sympathy with Nash’s Classical architecture in the Park.
The canal at Lisson Grove is very wide (and also known as the Marylebone Wide) and moorings are at 90° (nice photographs). Somehow I missed the Canal House, built for the Manager of the Canal in 1906.
Warwick Avenue Bridge with its lockkeeper’s cottage (photograph here) is the final bridge before the canal opens into Brownings Pool or the Grand Junction Basin, the meeting point of the Regent’s Canal, the Grand Juntion Canal, and the Paddington spur of the Canal. Robert Browning lived in Warwick Cresent and it was he who referred to the area as ‘Little Venice’.
You may be interested in
Detailed history of the building of the Canal
Macclesfield Bridge Explosion (pictures)
The explosion – interesting post
Map of Little Venice
And do read David Father’s ‘The Regent’s Canal