TUN­NEL VENTS

Canal Boat - - Feature -

To speed up con­struc­tion, canal tun­nels were of­ten not just dug from the ends in­wards; sev­eral con­struc­tion shafts were sunk from the hill­top along the line of the tun­nel, which was then ex­ca­vated in both di­rec­tions from the foot of these shafts. Many were filled in when the tun­nel was com­pleted, but some of these were opened up again for ven­ti­la­tion when pow­ered craft re­placed horses. Where the tun­nel doesn’t have a tow­path, you can of­ten still fol­low the old tun­nel top horse-path, and you can some­times spot a small ma­sonry tower (or oc­ca­sion­ally just a hole in the ground with a grat­ing over it) mark­ing the top of a tun­nel shaft. Our pic­ture shows one which makes a rather odd gar­den or­na­ment above Gosty Hill Tun­nel on the Dud­ley No 2 Canal.

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