Kennet & Avon Canal chimney repair

Published: Monday, 18 April 2011

BRITISH Waterways is to lead a project to repair and restore a unique chimney by Bath Locks on the Kennet & Avon Canal thanks to an award of £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

At a cost of £118,000 the chimney that was built around 1840, will be taken down bit by bit to above eight feet, then put back together again.

Repair stonework

Once dismantled, specialist stone masons will then repair the stonework and rebuild the chimney, replacing the old iron cramps with new stainless steel ones that will not rust, as well as restoring some of the decorative sections at the top of the chimney.

The chimney know as the 'leaning chimney of Bath', will not have its lean corrected, but will retain the lean!

Open air museum

The eight week project was made possible after British Waterways was awarded the lottery grant under the ‘Your Heritage' programme, to help enable the restoration works to be completed, as well as supporting the wider project to promote  Bath Flight as an open air museum.

British Waterways will be working with local people, groups and societies to tell the stories behind the structures, and the wider project will include the creation of an audio trail, circular walks and interpretation along the canal.

Wider scheme

The work to the chimney follows a project to restore two of the listed iron footbridges on the lock flight, and is part of a wider scheme to improve the section of the Kennet & Avon Canal in the city.

The chimney was only in use for 20 years, as the millers at the time using the Avon to power their water wheels, legally challenged the canal company over the removal of water from the river, that resulted in the closure of the pumping system.