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DUNDAS AQUEDUCT to MONKTON FARLEIGH
Most isolated villages have a secret history; Conkwell was a quarry workers village. Stone was lowered to the river on an "inclined plane", a steep runway that allowed them to lower barges filled with stone down to the canal on a cable system. This ingenious idea saved a massive amount of labour. They built their own houses too, using stone of course!
The aqueduct is at the junction of the Kennet & Avon Canal and the Somerset Coal Canal. Very little of the coal canal is left now, this short stretch is used for moorings and there is a cafe at the end.
It's worth a detour at waypoint 13 to visit the Claverton pumping station. It's a giant water wheel, driven by the River Avon, lifting 100,000 gallons of water an hour from the river up to the canal to replenish the water lost in the locks at Bath. Built in 1810 this wheel is still working today and in terms of energy efficiency it's hard to beat it in our modern world. Go to www.claverton.org for more information.
The Fox & Hounds pub at Farleigh Wick is well sited for a halfway stop.
(GPS length 4.3 miles).
How to get there: park in lay-by on A36 signposted Canal Visitors Centre. It's easy to find on the A36 0.3 miles north of the junction with the B3108