Monday, October 24, 2011

Debdale Wharf near Market Harborough

Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Union Canal was originally planned to go from Leicester via Market Harborough to Northampton, there joining the Grand Union main line. But when construction began, says the Old Union Canals Society website:
it became obvious that the budget was not going to allow for completion of the canal, so a decision was taken to stop at Debdale in 1797. The tiny hamlet became a busy canal terminus, with a purpose-built wharf, warehouse and pub (The Debdale Wharf Inn), and goods were stockpiled for onward transportation by horse and cart to the turnpike (A6) and thence to Harborough and beyond.
In due course the line reached Market Harborough, but later the connection with the main canal system was made by a cut from Foxton to Long Buckby, leaving Market Harborough at the end of a branch.

I was at Debdale Wharf on Saturday, which today is home to a new marina filled with boats. I talked to a woman who lives in one of the few houses there. She told me that the farmhouse next door had been the inn and that the remains of the old stables for the horses that pulled the narrow boats could be found at the bottom of her own garden.

And we both admired this ruin across the road with its oak doors (and though you cannot see it in this shot) Swithland slate roof.

1 comment:

John Dyson said...

So where are the treacle mines?