Nynehead Boat Lift - Grand Western Canal

We spent some days last week in West Somerset staying at friends' cottage near Taunton. Not far away is the track of the Great Western Canal and the remains of the Nynehead Boat lift. The Grand Western was famous for James Green's boat lifts that served the canal for its 30-year working life.

It is over ten years since we visited the lifts for the first time, encouraged by a Waterways World article. Since then not much has basically changed although the site has been much cleared and there are some improvements to the lift chambers. The aqueduct that carries the canal over the carriage way from Wellington to Nynehead Court has also been restored

Nynehead Lift in 2002

Nynehead Lift in 2013

On our first visit we called in at Wharf Cottage, which is close to the site, to make sure we were not trespassing. We did the same again this time and met Denis Dodds who is not only the closest neighbour to the site but is also an authority on the Grand Western Lifts.  He supplied us with a handy map of the area so we could take a circular walk that walk included the line of the canal and crossing the River Tone. 

View from the top of the lift showing where there was a lock below

Looking towards Nynehead Court in 2002 
This is the line of the carriage way with the aqueduct in the background.

Same view in 2013 with the aqueduct parapet now restored
Restored aqueduct with cast iron sides

The canal was landscaped at the request of the owners of Nynehead Court by planting turkey oaks - today they are very large.

Walking along the towpath with the canal channel to the right.

For those with an interest in this West Country canal, with its boat lifts and inclined planes, there is the excellent book in the David & Charles series by Helen Harris that was first published in 1973 but has been reprinted a number of times. It includes some black and white photographs of the Nynehead Lift and diagrams from James Green's technical publications. If you are in the area of Wellington in Somerset, Nynehead lies just north of the town and is but a few miles from the M5. (reference 50.990712,-3.219393)