model of aqueduct (3K)
Restoration
The Loxwood Link Extension

 

  LLEP PROGRESS
Drungewick bridge - The construction of the bridge.

Drungewick Update - Latest news of the extension project.


  LOCATION

  Map 7


  LOXWOOD SECTION
Barnsill Bridge rebuilt in 1989 joining two short sections dredged a few years earlier.

Baldwin's Knob Lock
- restored in 1992.

Brewhurst Lane Bridge
- rebuilt in 1994.

Brewhurst Lock
- restored in 1996.

Onslow pound
- restored in 1998.

And now -

Drungewick Lane Bridge
- built 2001 and in use.

 

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust is dedicated to the conservation, preservation and restoration of the Wey & Arun Canal, 'London's lost route to the sea' and the Loxwood Link is a stretch of the canal, restored in the late 1990s.

 

  map of Loxwood Link (5K)   1 - Onslow Arms, Loxwood
2 - Brewhurst Lock
3 - Brewhurst Lane Bridge
4 - Baldwin's Knob Lock
5 - Barnsill Bridge
6 - Drungewick Lane
7 - River Lox
 
 

On this stretch volunteers have restored two locks (Baldwin's Knob Lock, and Brewhurst Lock) and two accommodation bridges (Barnsill Bridge, and Brewhurst Lane Bridge), for which in 1997 they were awarded the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Country and Coastal Regeneration Award, and by the Inland Waterway Association the Christopher Power Prize for the top restoration group in the whole of the UK.

 

 

From near Drungewick Lane to Loxwood this 1 1/2 mile section of the waterway has been restored to full navigation and the Trust's trip boat Zachariah Keppel operates on it throughout the season.

boat entering Brewhurst lock (9K)

  stretch of canal in water (5K)

The stretch of canal from Drungewick Lane to Drungewick Lock, a distance of half a mile, was dredged and cleared in 1989 by the landowner.

 

The Loxwood Link Extension Project (LLEP) consists of several engineering components which, when completed, will connect these two sections and, subject only to water supply, enable through navigation from the Onslow Arms in Loxwood to Drungewick Lock.

 


  LOCK GATES
If gates are installed in a lock which is not in use they deteriorate quickly.

Gates in a working lock keep wet and thus last longer.


  map of Loxwood Link and extension to Drungewick Lock (7K)   1 - Onslow Arms, Loxwood
2 - Brewhurst Lane Bridge
3 - Baldwin's Knob Lock
4 - Drungewick aqueduct
      (site of)
5 - Drungewick Lane
canal bridge
(site of)

 

Connecting with this exciting project these two lengths of this historic waterway will provide many benefits, including -

 
 
  • Enabling boats to navigate a canal last used in 1868.

  • Giving public access, by trip boat, to parts of West Sussex not previously available.

  • Providing a new access for walkers by the introduction of a new permissive right of way.

  • Allowing further restoration southwards to Newbridge, converting from dereliction to a navigable canal, thus providing over six miles of continuous waterway.

  • Greater bio-diversity, particularly birds (swans, kingfishers, nightingales) , dragonflies, fish, flowers.

  • An enhanced tourist feature to the area, particularly for walkers, bird watchers, fishermen etc.

 
 

The project centres on the much vaunted replacement of Drungewick aqueduct and the removal and replacement of the road bridge in Drungewick Lane. Other elements involve embankments to the aqueduct and to the road bridge, a winding hole, new lock gates, a back-pumping system at the lock, and fencing along the permissive right of way along the towpath. [drawing: Paul Rippingham]

artist's drawing (9K)

 

The extension project is being accomplished in three main stages -

 
 
  1. August 2000 - Re-instating Drungewick Lane road bridge.

  2. Next will be the heavy plant crossing to the gauging station and re-instating the embankments etc.

  3. This will then be followed by the final stage - that of building the aqueduct itself.

 
  Drungewick Lock restored (9K)

The restoration of Drungewick Lock, which had lain derelict for over a century, was completed in 1991, though without gates.

 

The road bridge at Drungewick Lane
The canal traffic having ceased in 1868, by 1905 the Drungewick Lane bridge was in such a state of disrepair, that the local authority was persuaded to remove it.

The closure notice was dated July 3rd 1905.

Drungewick Bridge and road closure notice (11K)

  drawing: elevation of new bridge (5K)

The building of the new bridge at this site is being undertaken solely by contractors under the control and direction of West Sussex County Council, Highways Department.

 

Construction work on the new bridge started in August 2000, although some preparatory work began earlier. [more on the bridge works]

 

The Aqueduct
The original brick aqueduct was probably built on wooden foundations laid on the clay strata and over the years it experienced some heave and subsidence leading to bad cracking and distortion. It was demolished in 1957 by the river authority to ease flood control. Following its demolition the course of the river was altered and a gauging station introduced.

Drungewick aqueduct in 1934 (7K)

  Jessop's originaL design for Drungewick aqueduct (7K)

Josias Jessop's original 1814 "Design for an Aqueduct over the Loxwood River at Drungewick for the Arun & Wey Junction Canal" shows a brick structure with two arches, although the aqueduct as built appears to have had three arches. However, the Environment Agency (EA) has made a requirement for the aqueduct structure to have an air draft to cope with a worst case flooding in a statistical 100 years period. To meet this requirement and maintain the canal bed at the same level as the original design, with the same materials, is not possible.

 

Therefore, in 1995, Tony Gee & Partners were asked to design an aqueduct to meet the EA requirements. As part of those requirements, a constraint was made that the construction should take place only between April and September, because of the risk of flooding of the works during the winter months.

model of new aqueduct (9K)

 

Embankments to the aqueduct and bridge
The embankments for the aqueduct will connect the canal as it is now, to the abutments of the newly constructed aqueduct.

 
map - site of embankments (7K) 1 - new embankments
2 - new Drungewick Aqueduct
3 - new Drungewick Lane bridge
4 - Gauging station
5 - River Lox
 

As the surface level of the field is approximately the same as that of the constructed canal, the embankment will be simply the placement of clay to form the canal banks, rolled into place, which is in effect the same method to that used when the canal was originally built. Similar embankments will be required to connect the aqueduct and bridge structures.

  gauging station (10K)  

The EA has required that provision for access by heavy vehicles to its gauging station be made. This will be constructed in this embankment, and concrete planks, to be fitted across the canal when required, normally being stored locally enabling free passage down the waterway.

 

New gates to be fitted to Drungewick Lock
Drungewick lock was restored by the Trust volunteers, being finished in 1991. The gates will be constructed from steel with wooden beams. The wood is already to hand, having been given to the Trust by the Upper Avon Canal Trust, in 1997.

restored chamber of Drungewick Lock (10K)

Back-pumping

 

  water outfall above Brewhurst Lock (8K)

Back-pumping of water released by using Brewhurst Lock has been in operation since early 1997. Back-pumping was also successfully installed by apprentices under training at Baldwin's Knob Lock in the summer of 1997.

 

 

A Back-pump for Drungewick Lock
A water abstraction licence from the river Arun will allow water to be pumped into the canal above the Drungewick Lock. A second pump will return water from below the lock to the pound above it so reducing the water burden on the system when used by boats. Preparatory work has already started under the Horsham Green Health scheme.

 

 

Fence for the permissive right of way
The field alongside the canal (from the road to the Drungewick lock) is used by large cattle (Charolais) in summer. As the towpath will become a permissive right of way, suitable fencing is a necessity and this most likely will be erected by the volunteers.

Move mouse over picture
to see approx position

[photos: John Wood, Arthur Dungate]

NEXT -
Stage 1 - the bridge

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Last updated July 2001