Wednesday, 16 September 2015

That Tunnel

Our current mooring is very close to Hatton Station. It’s an attractive and quiet location with good TV reception.  The peace occasionally broken by a distant passing train.


Here we are tucked in behind the green boat enjoying the sunshine.  I wanted to make the most of the fine weather and took a walk along the towpath.  The walk included Shrewley Tunnel.  It’s only 396 metres long. 


We passed this way on a hire boat a decade ago travelling in the opposite direction and I seem to remember the tunnel had a unique feature.  There is a separate smaller towpath horse tunnel.


This is what I wanted to explore.  I discovered the horse tunnel doesn’t run horizontally parallel with the main tunnel.  Instead it has an incline approximately five metres from the entrance to the tunnel.  The floor is made of arched bricks which keeps the centre of the path dry.  The brick surface is smooth at the entrance.


However when you reach the incline the builders have raised every sixth course of bricks by a couple of centimetres creating a lip across the floor. 


If you look carefully at the above photo you can see the raised bricks running across the floor.  My assumption is this was done to provide a better grip for the horses.  The tunnel exit is just before Shrewley Common Road which passes over the top of the boat tunnel.  Actually the tunnel passes underneath part of Shrewley village.  The local village shop is only short distance from the towpath.

P1010804If we were on a hire boat it’s most unlikely we would have had the time to explore the tunnel and realise a shop was so close to the canal.

As for the weather, it rained quite heavily on my way back to the boat!

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