TOLL STOPS

Canal Boat - - Feature -

These look sim­i­lar to old stop locks – a nar­row­ing to just over boat size – but you won’t see any sign of gates. They are where toll-keep­ers ‘gauged’ boats i.e. mea­sured how low in the wa­ter they were, and cal­cu­lated the weight of cargo (us­ing a book with a ta­ble of weight against depth for ev­ery boat) and there­fore the toll. Com­mon on the BCN (of­ten in the form of an is­land with space for a boat each side, as per our pic­ture), they can be seen else­where – for ex­am­ple Stret­ton Stop on the Ox­ford.

These are just 20 of the many some­times quirky ex­am­ples of sur­viv­ing canal her­itage. There are many more – feel free to send us any pic­tures you have of your favourites. Our favourites in­clude the old-fash­ioned rail­way-style sem­a­phore sig­nals on the River Weaver locks, and a sign mark­ing an award-win­ning piece of pile-driv­ing on the south­ern Grand Union Canal. Happy her­itage-spot­ting.

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