Andover Canal: A Portrait

Horsebridge to Timsbury

Distance: 4.8 miles (7.7 km)

Horsebridge Station to Kimbridge

The railway follows the course of the earlier canal for the next three quarters of a mile in the process turning to run almost due south. About 270 yards (250m) before the next bridge, the course of the waterway (and the original single track railway) turned slightly left to pass about 20 yards east of the present bridge. The easing of the bend occurred when this section of the railway was upgraded to double track in 1885. Again the site of the lock at Brook is uncertain but it probably lay about 200 yards (180m) south of the bridge.

The canal and the later railway continue in a generally southerly direction approaching the A3057 and just before reaching Lower Brook becoming squeezed between the road and a section of the River Test. At the small settlement of Lower Brook, the Monarch’s Way and the main route of the Test Way leave the line of the canal crossing over the Test on a bridge and making for the village of Mottisfont. The former canal / railway and a spur of the Test Way continue southwards and shortly starts running alongside the A3057. In places the remains of the canal’s channel can be seen between the road and the current pathway although trees and bushes are trying to hide it.

A short distance before Stonymarsh car park is the site of Clapgate Lock although there seems to be no visible trace of it. The public path along the former canal / railway comes to an end at the car park. A foot / cycle path runs from outside the car park entrance beside the A3057 as far as Mottisfont Lane. Here it crosses over the main road to continue alongside the road until the southern side of the village of Timsbury.

The courses of the old railway and the old canal gradually part company just south of the car park staying close to each other for most of the way to Mottisfont Lane. The line of the canal passes through an outbuilding just north of the site of a bridge under Mottisfont Lane about 80 yards (73m) west of the A3057. There was a wharf for the village of Mottisfont but whether it was north or south of the road is uncertain. Mottisfont Station is now a private house on the north side of the lane which the railway crossed on the level about 100 yards (90m) west of the canal crossing.

From the point where the courses of the railway and the canal parted company north of Mottisfont Station until south of Romsey, the canal was not converted into a railway but was abandoned.

Test Way south of Horsebridge

The course of the canal / railway looking north towards Horsebridge.
Image date: 30 Nov 2020. © David Martin (cc-by-sa/2.0). Image from www.geograph.org.uk. NG Ref: SU341298. WGS84: 51° 04′ 02″ N, 1° 30′ 52″ W.

Test Way south of Horsebridge
Test Way south of Horsebridge

The course of the canal / railway looking north towards Horsebridge.
Image date: 30 Nov 2020.
NG Ref: SU341298.
WGS84: 51° 04′ 02″ N, 1° 30′ 52″ W.

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Accommodation bridge at Brook

Seen from the south, this bridge provides private access to the meadows and fishing alongside the River Test. The line of the canal here was about 18 yards to the right.
Image date: 30 Nov 2020. © David Martin (cc-by-sa/2.0). Image from www.geograph.org.uk. NG Ref: SU340289. WGS84: 51° 03′ 31″ N, 1° 30′ 53″ W.

Accommodation bridge at Brook
Accommodation bridge at Brook

Seen from the south, this bridge provides private access to the meadows and fishing alongside the River Test.
Image date: 30 Nov 2020.
NG Ref: SU340289.
WGS84: 51° 03′ 31″ N, 1° 30′ 53″ W.

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Timber-framed cottage at Brook

Lying between the Test Way and the A3057, this cottage, dating from the 17th century, now has vehicular access via the former railway.
Image date: 10 May 2009. © David Martin (cc-by-sa/2.0). Image from www.geograph.org.uk. NG Ref: SU340289. WGS84: 51° 03′ 31″ N, 1° 30′ 53″ W.

Timber-framed cottage at Brook
Timber-framed cottage at Brook

Lying between the Test Way and the A3057, this cottage now has vehicular access via the former railway.
Image date: 10 May 2009.
NG Ref: SU340289.
WGS84: 51° 03′ 31″ N, 1° 30′ 53″ W.

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The possible site of Brook Lock

South of the accommodation bridge at Brook, the canal ran a few yards east of the later double track railway. It seems likely that Brook Lock was just north of the entrance to the timber framed cottage.
Image date: 29 Apr 2021. © 2021 Peter Oates. NG Ref: SU340286. WGS84: 51° 03′ 23″ N, 1° 30′ 57″ W.

The possible site of Brook Lock
The possible site of Brook Lock

It seems likely that Brook Lock was just north of the entrance to the timber framed cottage.
Image date: 29 Apr 2021.
NG Ref: SU340286.
WGS84: 51° 03′ 23″ N, 1° 30′ 57″ W.

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Canal / railway south of Brook

Looking north, a characteristic view along the section of dismantled railway trackbed south of Brook.
Image date: 29 Apr 2021. © 2021 Peter Oates. NG Ref: SU339281. WGS84: 51° 03′ 07″ N, 1° 31′ 01″ W.

Canal / railway south of Brook
Canal / railway south of Brook

Looking north, a characteristic view along the section of dismantled railway trackbed south of Brook.
Image date: 29 Apr 2021.
NG Ref: SU339281.
WGS84: 51° 03′ 07″ N, 1° 31′ 01″ W.

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The River Test at Lower Brook

A northward view from the bridge crossing the river at Lower Brook. The course of the canal and railway lies behind the tall trees.
Image date: 30 Nov 2020. © David Martin (cc-by-sa/2.0). Image from www.geograph.org.uk. NG Ref: SU338278. WGS84: 51° 02′ 55″ N, 1° 31′ 06″ W.

The River Test at Lower Brook
The River Test at Lower Brook

A northward view from the bridge crossing the river at Lower Brook. The course of the canal and railway lies behind the tall trees.
Image date: 30 Nov 2020.
NG Ref: SU338278.
WGS84: 51° 02′ 55″ N, 1° 31′ 06″ W.

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Looking north at Lower Brook

The Test Way and Monarch’s Way leave the canal / railway in the left foreground to cross the River Test en route to Mottisfont.
Image date: 29 Apr 2021. © 2021 Peter Oates. NG Ref: SU338277. WGS84: 51° 02′ 54″ N, 1° 31′ 04″ W.

Looking north at Lower Brook
Looking north at Lower Brook

The Test Way and Monarch’s Way leave the canal / railway in the left foreground to cross the River Test.
Image date: 29 Apr 2021.
NG Ref: SU338277.
WGS84: 51° 02′ 54″ N, 1° 31′ 04″ W.

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Rail, Canal and Road

The depression between this southbound train and the A3057 is the partially infilled remains of the canal near the Somborne Chalk Quarry across the road.
Image date: 4 Jul 1958. Image from Denis Cullum. NG Ref: SU337273. WGS84: 51° 02′ 41″ N, 1° 31′ 12″ W.

Rail, Canal and Road
Rail, Canal and Road

The depression between this southbound train and the A3057 is the partially infilled remains of the canal near the Somborne Chalk Quarry across the road.
Image date: 4 Jul 1958.
NG Ref: SU337273.
WGS84: 51° 02′ 41″ N, 1° 31′ 12″ W.

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Entrance to Stonymarsh Car Park

This car park, off the A3057, marks the end of the public path along the former canal / railway.
Image date: Sep 2011. © 2021 Google. Image from Google Street View. NG Ref: SU335268. WGS84: 51° 02′ 25″ N, 1° 31′ 23″ W.

Entrance to Stonymarsh Car Park
Entrance to Stonymarsh Car Park

This car park, off the A3057, marks the end of the public path along the former canal / railway.
Image date: Sep 2011.
NG Ref: SU335268.
WGS84: 51° 02′ 25″ N, 1° 31′ 23″ W.

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Site of canal crossing Mottisfont Lane

The outbuilding at No 2 Station Cottages has been built of the course of the canal. The cyclist has just crossed the site of the bridge over the canal.
Image date: Sep 2016. © 2021 Google. Image from Google Street View. NG Ref: SU332264. WGS84: 51° 02′ 11″ N, 1° 31′ 35″ W.

Site of canal crossing Mottisfont Lane
Site of canal crossing Mottisfont Lane

The outbuilding at No 2 Station Cottages has been built on the course of the canal. The cyclist has just crossed the site of the bridge over the canal.
Image date: Sep 2016.
NG Ref: SU332264.
WGS84: 51° 02′ 11″ N, 1° 31′ 35″ W.

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Kimbridge Canal Junction

Kimbridge Junction was about 180 yards (165m) south of Mottisfont Lane. Here the Salisbury Arm of the Southampton & Salisbury Canal left the Andover Canal passing under a bridge carrying the towing path of the latter NG Ref: SU332263. WGS84: 51° 02′ 06″ N, 1° 31′ 36″ W.. Immediately, the Salisbury Arm negotiated a stop lock to prevent the Andover from losing water should there be any leaks in the Salisbury Arm beyond.

The Salisbury Arm had a short life. On 26 April 1802 the canal from Kimbridge to West Dean was reported open and on 8 December 1802 the canal from Redbridge to the west end of the tunnel at Southampton was reported open for barges carrying 25 tons of cargo. By January 1803 the Salisbury Arm was open as far as the beginning of Alderbury Common. It appears that traffic on the Redbridge to Southampton Tunnel section had ceased by the end of 1808, and probably soon afterwards on the Kimbridge to Alderbury line.

Although the remains of the two canals at the junction could still be seen in the 1970s, today there is no sign of the junction: neither the bridge nor the stop lock remain and the low embankment running west to the river has been removed. With the cessation of sand and gravel extraction on the other side of the valley south of Dunbridge about ten years ago, the conveyor belt that in part used the old railway and the small aggregates depot at Kimbridge Junction have also been removed.

Locked Gates

These gates shut off a roadway that used to lead to a sand and gravel transhipment facility which was next to the site of the canal junction. The facility was dismantled a number of years ago.
Image date: 6 Nov 2015. © Alex McGregor (cc-by-sa/2.0). Image from www.geograph.org.uk. NG Ref: SU333264. WGS84: 51° 02′ 11″ N, 1° 31′ 34″ W.

Locked Gates
Locked Gates

These gates shut off a roadway that used to lead to a sand and gravel transhipment facility which was next to the site of the canal junction. The facility was dismantled a number of years ago.
Image date: 6 Nov 2015.
NG Ref: SU333264.
WGS84: 51° 02′ 11″ N, 1° 31′ 34″ W.

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Site of Kimbridge Junction

In this aerial view from the south-east, the orange line shows the course of the Andover Canal and the red line is the approximate course of the Southampton & Salisbury Canal.
Image date: 9 Apr 2017. © 2021 Google. Image from Google Earth. Approx NG Ref: SU334262. Approx WGS84: 51° 02′ 04″ N, 1° 31′ 30″ W.

Aerial view of the site of Kimbridge Junction
Site of Kimbridge Junction

The orange line shows the course of the Andover Canal and the red line is the approximate course of the Southampton & Salisbury Canal.
Image date: 9 Apr 2017.
Approx NG Ref: SU334262.
Approx WGS84: 51° 02′ 04″ N, 1° 31′ 30″ W.

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Aerial view of canal junction at Kimbridge

This aerial view from the south shows the junction between the two canals and the first half a mile (0.8km) of the Salisbury Arm.
The next image annotates items of interest.
Image date: 26 Apr 1938. © Historic England. Image from Britain from Above. Other images in the vicinity may accessed via the Britain from Above website. Approx NG Ref: SU329255. Approx WGS84: 51° 01′ 42″ N, 1° 31′ 54″ W.

Aerial view of the canal junction at Kimbridge
Aerial view of canal junction at Kimbridge

This aerial view from the south shows the junction between the two canals and the first half a mile (0.8km) of the Salisbury Arm.
Image date: 26 Apr 1938.
Approx NG Ref: SU329255.
Approx WGS84: 51° 01′ 42″ N, 1° 31′ 54″ W.

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Aerial view of canal junction at Kimbridge

A1: Site of four arched aqueduct over River Test.    A2: Site of two arched aqueduct over River Dun.    E: Canal embankment.    J: Junction of Andover Canal and Southampton & Salisbury Canal.    M: Mottisfont village.    R: Andover and Redbridge Railway (now closed).    S: Mottisfont station.    T: River Test.
Image date: 26 Apr 1938. © Historic England. Image from Britain from Above. Other images in the vicinity may accessed via the Britain from Above website. Approx NG Ref: SU329255. Approx WGS84: 51° 01′ 42″ N, 1° 31′ 54″ W.

 
WGS84: 51° 01′ 42″ N, 1° 31′ 54″ W.

Kimbridge to A3057 crossing, Timsbury

South of the canal junction, much of the canal has been infilled. The landowner in the Timsbury area when the railway was being built was Lord Sherborne who insisted that the railway company fill in the canal not needed for the railway so that the land was level with its surroundings. The canal ran about 25 - 50 yards (20-45m) to the south-west of and roughly parallel to the A3057. Staff Lock was almost certainly on the length of canal between the junction and Kimbridge Lane to the south - probably at the southern end NG Ref: SU334258. WGS84: 51° 01′ 50″ N, 1° 31′ 28″ W.. It’s name must be derived from the nearby Bear and Ragged Staff pub. This Grade 2 listed building dates from the late 18th and early 19th centuries and thus was fairly new when the canal was built.

Continuing south-eastwards the line of the infilled canal runs nearly parallel to the A3057 until the drive leading to the farm of Linhay Meads NG Ref: SU338254. WGS84: 51° 01′ 40″ N, 1° 31′ 06″ W. when it turns slightly away from the main road. Passing through some recently planted trees and some buildings at the farm, a track follows the course of the canal for nearly half a mile (0.7km) along the edge of a slight river terrace. Beyond this NG Ref: SU344247. WGS84: 51° 01′ 17″ N, 1° 30′ 35″ W., the canal’s alignment is not visible in an area where some fairly recent buildings and a fishing lake have been developed at Heron’s Mead.

The line of the canal then passes along the rear of the graveyard at the Church of St Andrew, a Grade 2* listed building dating from the 13th Century . It then crosses to the rear of Timsbury Manor House. Here are the remains of the only original Andover Canal Bridge NG Ref: SU345244. WGS84: 51° 01′ 05″ N, 1° 30′ 32″ W. in the garden of Mayfly Cottage. Timsbury Lock used to exist on the north side of the bridge but this has disappeared under the landscaping of the garden.

Timsbury Manor House dates approximately to the late 1840s. It was built on the site of Timsbury Manor Farm by the Hon Ralph Dutton who had received the estate of Timsbury from his father Lord Sherborne. Dutton was a Conservative politician who was elected Member of Parliament for Hampshire South in 1857. He was also a director of the London South Western Railway Company and from 1875 until his death in 1892 was Chairman of the board.

South of Timsbury Lock, the canal is in water for about half a mile (0.8km) although the channel seems to have been narrowed for the last 200 yards (180m) or so. At this point NG Ref: SU348237. WGS84: 51° 00′ 42″ N, 1° 30′ 18″ W., the water that has come down the canal from the manor is diverted northward around the next field. The canal’s curving course was filled in for the next 360 yards (330m) up to the A3057 Greatbridge Road in about 1970 such that the canal can now hardly be traced. The bridge that once carried the main road over the canal has been replaced by a culvert but the road still has a slight hump at the spot.

Near the Bear & Ragged Staff

The orange line shows the course of the Andover Canal crossing Kimbridge Lane the other side of the A3057 from the Bear & Ragged Staff public house.
Image date: 9 Apr 2017. © 2021 Google. Image from Google Earth. Approx NG Ref: SU335257. Approx WGS84: 51° 01′ 49″ N, 1° 31′ 22″ W.

Aerial view showing the line of the canal near the Bear & Ragged Staff
Near the Bear & Ragged Staff

The orange line shows the course of the Andover Canal crossing Kimbridge Lane the other side of the A3057 from the Bear & Ragged Staff public house.
Image date: 9 Apr 2017.
Approx NG Ref: SU335257.
Approx WGS84: 51° 01′ 49″ N, 1° 31′ 22″ W.

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Aerial view at Linhay Meads

The orange line shows the course of the Andover Canal crossing and then running parallel to the driveway to the farm at Linhay Meads.
Image date: 9 Apr 2017. © 2021 Google. Image from Google Earth. Approx NG Ref: SU337253. Approx WGS84: 51° 01′ 34″ N, 1° 31′ 11″ W.

Aerial view at Linhay Meads
Aerial view at Linhay Meads

The orange line shows the course of the Andover Canal crossing and then running parallel to the driveway to the farm at Linhay Meads.
Image date: 9 Apr 2017.
Approx NG Ref: SU337253.
Approx WGS84: 51° 01′ 34″ N, 1° 31′ 11″ W.

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Canal bridge at Timsbury Manor

This picture is looking north at the sole remaining Andover Canal bridge, part of a private garden at Timsbury Manor. Timsbury Lock used to lie the other side of this structure.
Image date: 1990. NG Ref: SU345243. WGS84: 51° 01′ 04″ N, 1° 30′ 32″ W.

Canal bridge at Timsbury Manor
Canal bridge at Timsbury Manor

This picture is looking north at the sole remaining Andover Canal bridge, part of a private garden at Timsbury Manor.
Image date: 1990.
NG Ref: SU345243.
WGS84: 51° 01′ 04″ N, 1° 30′ 32″ W.

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Canal south of Timsbury Manor

Looking north along the canal from a bridge over the waterway south of Timsbury Manor.
Image date: Feb 2013. Image from www.panoramio.com. NG Ref: SU346238. WGS84: 51° 00′ 47″ N, 1° 30′ 25″ W.

Canal south of Timsbury Manor
Canal south of Timsbury Manor

Looking north along the canal from a bridge over the waterway south of Timsbury Manor.
Image date: Feb 2013.
NG Ref: SU346238.
WGS84: 51° 00′ 47″ N, 1° 30′ 25″ W.

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Narrowed canal south of Timsbury Manor

Looking south from a bridge over the waterway south of Timsbury Manor along the canal that appears to have been narrowed.
Image date: Feb 2013. Image from www.panoramio.com. NG Ref: SU346238. WGS84: 51° 00′ 47″ N, 1° 30′ 25″ W.

Narrowed canal south of Timsbury Manor
Narrowed canal south of Timsbury Manor

Looking south from a bridge over the waterway south of Timsbury Manor along the canal that appears to have been narrowed.
Image date: Feb 2013.
NG Ref: SU346238.
WGS84: 51° 00′ 47″ N, 1° 30′ 25″ W.

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Infilled canal west of the A3057

Seen from the A3057, about 360 yards of the canal west of the main road has been infilled and the water diverted around these fields.
Image date: 7 Nov 2005. © 2005 Peter Oates. NG Ref: SU351236. WGS84: 51° 00′ 39″ N, 1° 30′ 01″ W.

Infilled canal west of the A3057
Infilled canal west of the A3057

Seen from the A3057, about 360 yards of the canal west of the main road has been infilled and the water diverted around these fields.
Image date: 7 Nov 2005.
NG Ref: SU351236.
WGS84: 51° 00′ 39″ N, 1° 30′ 01″ W.

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A3057 crossing the canal

In this northward view of the A3057, the car is crossing the slight hump in the road at the site of the canal bridge.
Image date: 7 Nov 2005. © 2021 Peter Oates. NG Ref: SU351236. WGS84: 51° 00′ 38″ N, 1° 30′ 01″ W.

A3057 crossing the canal
A3057 crossing the canal

In this northward view of the A3057, the car is crossing the slight hump in the road at the site of the canal bridge.
Image date: 7 Nov 2005.
NG Ref: SU351236.
WGS84: 51° 00′ 38″ N, 1° 30′ 01″ W.

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The culvert under the A3057

The original bridge carrying the road over the canal has been replaced by this culvert seen from the east side.
Image date: 7 Nov 2005. © 2005 Peter Oates. NG Ref: SU351236. WGS84: 51° 00′ 39″ N, 1° 30′ 00″ W.

The culvert under the A3057
The culvert under the A3057

The original bridge carrying the road over the canal has been replaced by this culvert seen from the east side.
Image date: 7 Nov 2005.
NG Ref: SU351236.
WGS84: 51° 00′ 39″ N, 1° 30′ 00″ W.

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