A Place in History: NarrowBoat, Summer 2008

Hugh Potter

Hugh Potter visits the dramatic flight of locks where once stood the famous inclined plane

You may think you know Foxton Locks well, having passed through on boating holidays. But the recent investment of £2.8m in a major restoration project around the site of the inclined plane has transformed the area and makes it well worth revisiting. It is also an opportunity to see how British Waterways now deals with its heritage, and to consider if this is the correct way forward. Foxton has always been a ‘honeypot’ site. Even before commercialism crept into conservation, people visited Foxton locks for a ‘day out’, although facilities were minimal. There was a council car park at the top, a small shop at the bottom plus, in more recent years, the popular Bridge 61 public house run by Tony & Mary Matts of Foxton Boat Services. The recent investment, fronted by BW, is many faceted. It is to preserve and restore our heritage; it is to encourage more visitors; it is to make them stay longer; and it is to obtain some financial return from them. When I …

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