Bridgwater & Taunton


Bridgwater & Taunton
Steart Marshes
Burnham & Cheddar
Quantock Hills
Along the Line of the West Somerset Railway

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The Bridgwater and Taunton Canal links the towns in its name through some lovely Somerset countryside, this page includes views along its length, only one lock not yet included!

Boat passing through the lock from docks to canal

The canal starts from Bridgwater Docks which have their own page, this one starts with a boat leaving the docks and passing through the lock into the canal.

The Peggotytom does trips on the canal further up.




Boat heading up the canal

Another view of the Peggotytom as she heads up the canal.



Swingbridge at Huntworth

Swingbridge at Huntworth

Two views of the swing bridge at Huntworth showing it being opened for a narrow boat to pass through towards Bridgwater.


Heron, geese and ducks on the canal

Some of the wildlife of the Canal near Huntworth, a Heron stands on the bank looking for lunch, a pair of Canada Geese on the water and some Mallards on the bank.  There are more photos of birds along the canal on Wildlife

Boat on the B&T Canal

Boat on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal

Two photos of boats on the Canal between Fordgates and North Newton.



Saturn marker beside the canal

Along the canal are markers depicting the planets at scale distances from the "Sun" at Maunsel Upper Lock, this one is "Saturn", a fair walk away from the "Sun"!




Swans on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal

Swans on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal Nearby we saw this family of swans with seven cygnets.  They came over to investigate us when we first passed, on the way back they objected to our passing and the cygnets took it in turns to practice trying to drive us away.


Moorhen and chicks

Also nearby was this family of Moorhens, an adult and two chicks can be seen in this photo part hidden in the reeds.  One youngster was light enough to stand on the weed but the other was in the water.


Kings Lock

Kings Lock

Kings Lock

Three views of Kings Lock, near North Newton.  The locks on this canal have to be left empty with the bottom gates open.


Counter balance for the paddles

An unusual feature of this canal is the counter weights for the paddles at the locks as seen in this photo at Kings Lock.




Swingbridge at North Newton

Another of the canal's swing bridges, this one is on the edge of North Newton between Kings and Maunsel Lower Locks.


Maunsel Lady cruising the canal

The "Maunsel Lady" on a trip down the canal.  Problems had apparently delayed weed cutting which makes this stretch - between the swing bridge above and Maunsel Lower Lock - look rather narrow in this photo.


Maunsel Lower Lock

Maunsel Lower Lock viewed through the adjacent bridge with a canoeist enjoying an afternoon on the canal.



Maunsel Lady in Maunsel Lower Lock

Maunsel Lady in Maunsel Lower Lock

Maunsel Lady leaving Maunsel Lower Lock

"Maunsel Lady"  making her way through Maunsel Lower Lock and heading up the canal towards the Upper Lock.



Boats in Maunsel Lower Lock

Two boats that have featured in some of the photos above making their way through Maunsel Lower Lock.  There is a tea room by this lock, a nice place on a sunny day to watch the world go by at the leisurely pace of a canal.


Maunsel Upper Lock

Maunsel Upper Lock is also adjacent to a bridge through which this photo was taken.


Boat in Maunsel Upper Lock

Boat in Maunsel Upper Lock

Two views of a boat making its way up through Maunsel Upper Lock.



Maunsel Upper Lock

Maunsel Upper Lock seen from the other end, the large orange globe represents the sun.  This is the mid point on the canal and there are scale models of the planets at scale distances from this sun in both direction along the towpath - after Mars they're a long way apart!


Mercury marker on the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal

Venus marker on the Bridgwater & Taunton canal

Earth marker on the Bridgwater & Taunton canal

Mars marker on the Bridgwater & Taunton canal

The markers for the Inner Planets come close together on the stretch between Maunsel Upper Lock and Outwood - Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are seen here.


Swingbridge at Outwood

Another of the canal's swing bridges, this one is at Outwood.



Boat on the canal

A boat makes its way down towards Maunsel Upper Lock



Swans on the canal

A pair of swans patrolling their stretch of the canal.




Jupiter marker on the Bridgwater & Taunton canal

The next marker is that for Jupiter, a much longer gap than that between the previous ones - the plaques give details of actual distances.  All of them have a "scale model" of the planet on the top, compare Jupiter with the Inner Planets above!




Heron near Cogload

Heron near Cogload

Two views of a heron looking for his tea from the bank of the canal near Cogload.



Railway flyover at Cogload

Train climbing up to Cogload flyover

Close to the canal is a flyover as part of Cogload railway junction.



Bridgwater & Taunton Canal in Creech St Michael

Bridgwater & Taunton Canal in Creech St Michael

Two views of the canal in Creech St. Michael, there's a lot of houses in the village with gardens down to the canal.


Course of the Chard Canal

The Chard Canal joined the Bridgwater & Taunton at Creech, this is its course across the fields.



Course of the Chard Canal

The old canal bed is completely overgrown as can be seen in this view from the towpath of the B&T.


Bridgwater & Taunton Canal in Creech St Michael

Beyond the old canal junction and more canal side houses.



Buzzard on a post by the canal

Buzzard over the canal

A buzzard was sat on a fence post by the canal left then he took off and flew ahead of us towards Bathpool.


M5 bridge over the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal

The M5 motorway crosses the canal between Creech St Michael and Bathpool on this modern bridge...



Old bridge over the canal

...which contrasts with this old brick arch one carrying a country lane nearby.



Bridgwater & Taunton Canal near Bathpool

A38 bridge over the canal at Bathpool

The next bridge along carries the M5's "predecessor" the A38 across the canal at Bathpool.


Swingbridge at Bathpool

Swans by Bathpool swing bridge Past the A38 and one of the many swing bridges over the canal which here is "home territory" for this family of swans.


Moorings near Taunton

Moving on a bit further towards Taunton these is this wider section of the canal which offers room for a number of moorings.


Railway bridge over Bridgwater & Taunton Canal at Obridge

Closer to Taunton the canal passes under the railway line, quite a long bridge as the railway has four tracks here.


Bridge over Bridgwater and Taunton Canal at Obridge

Nearer still to the town centre is this bridge, which now carries a foot and cycle path.  The pipe is low enough for me to have to duck to get under it but still leaves the necessary clearance for canal boats.


Firepool Lock, Taunton, on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal.

Firepool Lock at the end of the canal.  Beyond this is the River Tone in the centre of Taunton, boats can go up the river through the town as far as French Weir.


Firepool Lock, Taunton, on the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal.

Firepool Lock and railway water tower at Taunton.

Firepool Lock looking east with the old railway water tower in the background.  The area around here is shortly to be redeveloped following the closure of the cattle market and railway goods depot.

Firepool Lock seen from the River Tone, Taunton.

Firepool Lock at the end of the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal.

Two views of Firepool Lock from the banks of the River Tone.  All the water for the canal (and much of Bridgwater's water supply) comes from the river via a sluice here.




Sluice gates controlling the River Tone at Firepool, Taunton.

These sluice gates next to the lock control the level of the River Tone above Firepool and up to French Weir, the other side of the town.


Bridge over Firepool Weir, Taunton

Firepool Weir itself seen from across the river to the canal.  The bridge over the weir has been shut for several years now, no funds to repair it I assume.


Bridge over the Tone to the former market site in Taunton.

Away from the canal proper, looking up the River Tone towards Taunton.  The bridge is an access to the former cattle market (on the right) which is soon to be redeveloped with offices, flats and a hotel.


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This site was last updated 15/07/2012

Photos not otherwise credited are 2001-2012 S G J Huddy.  Other photos are included with permission of the copyright holders.