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Kempsford is the only settlement of any size on the canal east of
Cricklade. The canal company has a wharf here and it was also the place
where a feeder entered the canal from the Colne which ran in an open channel
from Welford nearly 2 miles away.
The design of the wharf house at Kempsford is the same as those located
to serve Cricklade and Cirencester. The agent or wharfinger lived in the
central section with storage for the goods on either side and to the rear
of the building.
The Kempsford example has recently been renovated but at some point in
the past lost the part of the warehouse space to the rear.
In front of the wharf building there would have once been a large canal
basin and the main line of the canal was quite a distance to the south (front)
of the the building.
Kempsford Wharfhouse 2002 (private property)
The road from Kempsford to Hannington used to cross the canal on an arched
bridge and a swing bridge further east used to link the strip of land between
the Canal and the River Thames with the village.
Views to the east and the west from
the site of Kempsford Bridge in 2002
The canal is difficult to see and has been filled in on either side of
the site of the road bridge. Elsewhere there has been encroachment by infill
and gardens and it is doubtful that planning permission has been granted
for some of this as the canal route is protected in Local Authority plans
and has been for many years.
Even so, a substantial amount of the canal bed within Kempsford, sometimes
with water in it, does survive but is not accessible to the public.