Turnpikes Canals and White Horses you can’t ride

For many years when traveling   from Andover on A342 to Devizes I have passed usually at speed on the hill a lone monument right on the edge of the road, today I decided to stop and investigate The small tower with a lion on the top commemorates James Long, of Urchfont, who, in 1768, promoted a new road from Nursteed, in Devizes, to Lydeway, in Urchfont. The gradient on the then existing road, turnpiked under the first Wiltshire Turnpike Act in 1707 for the Devizes to Upavon Road, had proved too steep, being on the higher slopes of Etchilhampton Hill. This road of 1768 remains as part of the main road today.


Cut into the chalk in Wiltshire are several white horses we visit the one at Bratton Camp it is recorded as being on the hillside back in the late 1600s set on the edge of Bratton Camp Hill fort the area is now grazed by rare breed sheep.

white horse.1


Our last stop today was the 29 locks of Caen Hill Devizes they have a rise of 237 feet in 2 miles (a 1 in 44 gradient.) The locks come in three groups. The lower seven lock, because of the steepness of the terrain, the pounds between these locks are very short. As a result, 15 locks have unusually large sideways-extended pounds, to store the water needed to operate them. A final six locks take the canal into Devizes.





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