A Place in History: NarrowBoat, Spring 2008

Denis Dodd

Denis Dodd looks at surviving industrial archaeology that once enhanced the landscape as well as provided transport

If you are attending the National Trailboat Festival on the Grand Western Canal on 24th–25th May, or taking a holiday in the south-west of England this summer, then a visit to this unique group of ornamental, yet once functional, canal and railway structures is well worthwhile. Nynehead lies in the fertile Vale of Taunton Deane, which is part of a natural historic route through the hilly country linking the Bristol and English channels. The modern village lies to the north of the River Tone at a point where the vale starts its rugged ascent to a watershed on the Somerset/Devon border. In the early 17th century the Sanford family gained ownership of lands extending from Nynehead southwards towards Wellington. The family thrived and additions were made to the manor house that eventually became the fine Palladianstyle structure known as Nynehead Court. In 1768 a group of Taunton businessmen, presumably inspired by the Bridgewater and the Trent & Mersey canals, proposed a cana…

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Nynehead featured image