Boating to Braunston

Working the Waterways: NarrowBoat, Spring 2019

Christopher M Jones

Located at the junction of the Grand Union and Oxford canals, Braunston thrived on its canal trade for over 150 years. Chris M. Jones looks back

In the days of commercial carrying, Braunston was a place where boats might stop to pay their tolls, make an overnight stay or replenish supplies before continuing their journeys. In addition to this passing trade, it was also a destination for cargoes supplying local traders. The Grand Junction Canal Company, for example, had a steam pumping-engine for backpumping water at Braunston Locks and maintaining water levels at its reservoirs, as well as steam-powered tunnel tugs, which required a regular coal supply. Most local traders relying on canal transport had their cargoes delivered on, or near, the Oxford Canal Company’s Braunston Wharf, as the majority of the warehouses were situated there. The dry dock and basin were part of the old meandering course of the Oxford Canal, situated between the Grand Junction Canal and the Braunston-to-Daventry trunk road called London Road, now better known as the A45. The GJC’s grain warehouse was only a few yards from the wharf against…

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