Bank Newton and the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

Sunday 6th February 2000

Leaders -John & Sandra Fox

Meeting Place - Crossroads by Newton Hall.

 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 


Thirty-one members turned out for the first meet of the New Millennium; a blustery day with the threat of rain in the air. We set off on the road towards Gargrave, before joining the towpath at Bank Newton Locks; our first historical point. It was here in the basin in years gone by that boats were repaired; a joiners shop being on site, now a private house. Also, as every employee of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Company was entitled to a coffin from the Company when they died, it was on this site that they were made. During World War 11 a strong room/building was constructed on the site, which stored all the records of the Company that were originally housed in Liverpool.

Moving off we took the track across the fields to join up with the Pennine Way at the bottom of Scaleber Hill. We were soon having to divert due to flooded ground and then make our way through deep mud before joining the lane that runs between East Marton and Bank Newton. As we proceeded down the lane we stopped at our next historical point; the ruined tramway bridge over the track that led from a Quarry to the Canal Bank loading bay. Stone would have been quarried and shipped by barge, either for bridge building or buildings adjoining the canal.

Joining the towpath at Green Bank Bridge I gave a short discourse on how the Canal Company used contour lines around hills and valleys to save on costs. Along this reach the Canal has many tight turns. At the third historical point, a large post in the ground; I explained that this post was the support for a roller, which eased the towrope around the corner for the horse drawn barges. Further evidence of these posts was seen in the ground as we walked along the path, along with quarter, half and mile posts in cast iron.

Our final stopping point was a bridge where the towpath changed from one side of the canal to the other. The towpath goes under the bridge, then swings across it so that the horse does not have to be disconnected from the towrope. Finally, it was down the lane to rejoin the cars, wash muddy boots in the stream and avoid the short shower that arrived as we completed the walk.



The canal near Bank Newton
Photo Maureen Ellis

Plan of Stephen Park 1700

Changes had taken place by 1700 especially by the embellishment of a new front doorway and stairway.

The canal near Bank Newton