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Bridgwater Dock

Accessible for local, portable and trailable craft

Silver Propeller Challenge

Location

Bridgwater

Visit Bridgwater Dock on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal by boat or canoe.

It has been chosen as a Silver Propeller Location to support this isolated waterway and encourage visiting boats. A photo of your boat or canoe in Bridgwater Dock will be a good proof of your visit.

Complete our challenge by visiting 20 locations from our list, you will receive our exclusive plaque and goody bag.

History of the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal

The Bridgwater & Taunton Canal runs from the River Tone at Taunton to Bridgwater. The canal is 13.5 miles (21.7km) long with 7 locks. It opened in 1827 and together with the Grand Western Canal are the remains of Brindley’s project to bypass the tricky sea passage around Land’s End. Both the canals were linked in 1838 with a tub-boat canal having seven vertical locks and an inclined plane. Railway competition and high operating costs caused closure in 1867. The Bridgwater & Taunton Canal connected to the River Tone at Huntworth, to the east of Bridgwater, but this proved inadequate; the canal was extended to a new floating harbour with two basins and two river locks in 1841.

Bridgwater Docks

The last commercial traffic along the canal was in 1907 but Bridgwater Docks remained in use until 1971. The channel was maintained to supply the docks and from 1962 drinking water to Durleigh reservoir. Restoration began in the mid 1970s and the canal reopened fully in 1994. Bridgwater Docks are owned by Sedgemoor District Council and used as a marina. In Taunton it is possible to connect with the River Tone (navigable for about 1 mile) via Firepool Lock.

Photo: Moored boats at Bridgwater Docks on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal by Stefanie Preston.

Bridgwater & Taunton Canal Notes

Bridgwater & Taunton Canal Dimensions

The maximum size of boat that can navigate the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal is:-

  • Length: 55′ 2″ (16.81m) – Firepool Lock
  • Beam: 12′ 6″ (3.81m) – Higher Maunsell Lock
  • Height: 7′ 3″ (2.21m) – Huntworth Bridge (No 12) and Obridge Bridge (No 36)
  • Draught: 4′ 6″ (1.37m) – Higher Maunsell Lock cill

Access

Oakley Barge Lock, which connects Bridgwater Docks with the River Parrett, is currently non-operational.

There is a slipway at the CRT Bathpool moorings.

Canoeing & Boat Hire

Go by canoe on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal with a CRT licence or British Canoeing membership.

At Maunsell the Somerset Boat Centre offers a variety of boats for hire.

Challenge Location

Bridgwater Dock

Bridgwater & Taunton Canal

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