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.
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: SU332262. 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.
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′ 51″ 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.