When the Basingstoke Canal was built, between 1788 and 1794, it was inevitable that its line would intersect pre-existing footpaths, farm tracks, roads, and other waterways, or simply pass through someone’s land thereby dividing it into two parts. Where these things happened, bridges had to be built, over 70 in all.
The last boat left Basingstoke in 1910 and over the following decades, much of the last 5 miles of the canal was abandoned and sold off and many of the bridges disappeared. However, several are still to be found if you know where to look. Elsewhere bridges disappeared simply because they were no longer needed.
The Canal Society’s archives contain photographs of most of these lost bridges and these and old maps form the basis of this book.