Ship staircase at Caen Hill in Devizes ( Wiltshire)

Caen Hill in Devizes

Caen Hill in Devizes

Devizes? Never heard? No, you don’t necessarily have to know the place. Located in rural Wiltshire, about 150 km from London, however, this is a great engineering achievement of the late 18th century. In 1794, the 87-mile Kennet and Avon Canal was built, a waterway for the then highly popular Narrow Boats. But there was a hill in the way of this connection, which is so important for freight transport: Caen Hill near the municipality of Devices. The builder John Rennie had to find a way to transport the boats over this “mountain”. He found this in the form of 29 locks, 16 of which are in a rather unique arrangement close together. This made it possible to overcome the 72 meters of altitude in “only” 5 to 6 hours duration per passage. Completed in 1810, the last cargo boat operated here only in 1948. After an extensive refurbishment, the so-called “Flight of Locks” is very popular with the countless private narrow boats and a more than grateful photo motif. A small brochure is available for visitors.

Caen Hill in devizes

Caen Hill in Devizes

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