This section of the Canal is in Local Authority ownership.
We do not have permission to work on it at present.
What Jack Dalby said in 1985.
"...Hay Lane Wharf site at 110820. From here up to the aqueduct over Wroughton Brook at 137833 Wiltshire County Council in 1962 filled the bed which ran alongside a minor road....."
At Hay Lane crossing the Canal leaves North Wiltshire District and enters The Borough of Swindon.
Wharf Road BridgeLooking west at the site of Wharf Road Bridge.
The Canal is in a cutting here, road alignment should not be a problem.
However the effects of the proposed new road arrangements here are not yet known.
The canal is visible along the whole of the length as an uncultivated strip alongside B4005 Wharf Road. It is crossed by two accommodation entrances, Costow Farm and Berrywood Farm, which would probably have been lift bridges.
Wharf Road has a joggle in it where it crossed the Canal, but there are no obvious signs of a bridge. Again I would guess this must have been a lift bridge.
Alongside Wharf Road, the Canal is infilled with clay from digging the foundations for the Pressed Steel plant in Swindon. It was in a cutting here, so the amount of material to be removed will be enormous. One day Iíll do an estimate.
The initial plan is to excavate to near Costow Bridge, 300 metres, and make a fairly sharp turn left to go under Wharf Road. At this point the O.S. map shows a spot height of 103 metres, which should give sufficient headroom without raising the road level.
From here to the M4 the route remains to be defined; it is probable the M4 culvert will be in the region of the half-mile marker on the approach to Junction 16.
The Smith plan involves carrying on on the old line where the new line turns off under Wharf Road, rebuilding Costow Bridge and Berrywood Bridge (which still appears to be a bridge of sorts), up to the site of the original Wharf Road Bridge. Then instead of turning left to go under Wharf Road, turn slightly right and go under the Elcombe road.
The bottom end of the field here can be excavated to make Wroughton (or Elcombe) Marina. This also has a water supply from Wroughton Brook, which I believe flows into Coate Water. Interesting possibility. The marina could be at a slightly higher level than the Canal, to give some reservoir capacity.
However this plan has not been discussed with the land owner, so at present is pure speculation.
The towpath changed sides at Hay Lane Bridge, so is on the Wharf Road side of the Canal.
The only possibility is Wroughton Brook, see above. However this forms part of the summit level so does not need an independent feed in the long term.
None within a considerable distance. From the Marina, you could walk into Wroughton.