Monday, 1 August 2016

Wey Navigation

We have just finished 3 weeks cruising the River Wey navigation, so called as it was one of the first Rivers to be 'canalised' for freight traffic. Apart from the usual cargoes of corn, coal, timber and chalk for the lime kilns etc this waterway was also used to transport ordnance from Woolwich arsenal and gunpowder (locally produced in Guilford) to Portsmouth. Yes that's right Portsmouth; a branch line called the Wey and Arun canal split off above Godalming at a place called Guns mouth and went all the way to Chichester then turned west through Chichester harbour, through Southsea and finally emerging at Gunwharf... So Guns mouth to Gunwharf!  This was not the end of the journey though as most of the munitions were then shipped across the pond to help fight the yanks during the war of Independance.

Unfortunately Godalming is the most southerly point on the navigable part of the entire network so we just had to reverse right up to the bitter end just to say we did it, and what a beautiful spot it was too!

Church window illuminated

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