Andover Canal

Introduction to the Portrait

A portrait in words and pictures of the route of the Andover Canal from north to south is given on the following pages. On each page a brief verbal description of the waterway is illustrated with a number of pictures.

Andover Canal north of Romsey

Andover Canal at Belbins, north of Romsey
11 May 2018 © 2018 Keith Murray

It is over 160 years since the canal was closed so that it could be converted to a railway. Eventually, nearly 15 miles (24km) of canal’s original 23 miles (37km) disappeared under the railway works. There exists only one picture of the waterway thought to have been painted when the canal was in use. So in the main this portrait contains some images scanned from postcards of various dates, some pictures of railway scenes mainly since the Second World War and images from the 21st century. But around one third of the canal escaped conversion and several parts of this still contain water. In all, this portrait is an attempt to let the reader at least identify where the canal once ran and what remains can be found.

Each page of this portrait describes a section of the canal between the points indicated in the title. Each section is divided into a number of lengths containing a description in words followed by a number of thumbnails of images of that length.

Each thumbnail is a link to a larger version of the picture. In a modern browser with Javascript enabled (as most people do), this will open within this window - otherwise the larger image will replace the contents of this window (use your browser’s back button to return to the parent page). For those using devices (eg phones) with limited data allowances, the size of the larger version is given in brackets after the caption.

Included with each picture is an Ordnance Survey National Grid Reference (OSGB36) of the image viewpoint (normally the position of the camera) given to 100 metres. For those using GPS devices, the latitude and longitude (in WGS84) of this position is also given by default in degrees, minutes and seconds to the nearest second. One second of arc in latitude is approximately 30 metres and for longitude in this part of Hampshire just under 20 metres. For those who prefer (and who have JavaScript enabled), these WGS84 values can be displayed instead as decimal degrees or degrees and decimal minutes by choosing the Settings icon at the foot of the route description pages (via the Page Links icon on small screens). It should be borne in mind that when some of these pictures were taken, GPS facilities were not available to the public (or for earlier images not even dreamed of) and many references have had to be estimated.

There are instances where no picture of a feature is given. To allow the location to be identified, a button like this NG Ref: SU357232. WGS84: 51° 00′ 27″ N, 1° 29′ 31″ W. may be included in the text to allow the coordinates of the feature to be read.

Explorers of the remains of the canal would do well to concentrate their investigations, particularly in rural areas, upon the winter months when verdant foliage is less likely to obscure the features they are seeking.

Please also note that parts of the site of the canal are on private property. We wish to ask that those seeking to view the remains do not trespass upon such land without gaining permission.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the route descriptions are accurate although a few parts of the course of the canal have not been visited on the ground. However, changes can occur at any time. The Website Manager would be pleased to hear about changes, omissions or errors found.

1. Andover to Fullerton
2. Fullerton to Stockbridge
3. Stockbridge to Horsebridge
4. Horsebridge to Timsbury
5. Timsbury to Romsey and Ashfield
6. Ashfield to Redbridge