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The Kennet and Avon Canal runs through the very heart of Hungerford. Today it is a source of recreation and enjoyment for all ages. In earlier times it played a big part in the town's economic development.

This part of the Virtual Museum includes a Short History of the Kennet and Avon Canal.

For more detailed information please look at the separate articles:

- The Avon Navigation

- The Kennet Navigation

- Building the Kennet and Avon Canal

- Crofton Pumping Station

- The Prosperous Years

- A Century of Decline

- The Restoration of the Kennet and Avon Canal

- Kennet & Avon Canal Photo Gallery (for additional archive photographs)

Photo Gallery:

Also see the extensive Kennet & Avon Canal Photo Gallery (for additional archive photographs)

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- Canal Wharf, Apr 2009

- The wet dock and Hungerford lock c1875. [CDV by WS Parry]

- The wharf, c.1895 [Cassells]

- The canal bridge and canalside, c.1906

- Hungerford Town Lock, c1970

- The canal reopens to Hungerford 1974

- The Queen on board "The Rose of Hungerford" for the re-opening of the canal at Caen Hill, 7th Aug 1990

- Canal Wharf, c1995

- Canal Wharf, showing the Diamond Jubilee footbridge in place, May 2012

- Canal Wharf, showing the willow tree planted in memory of Cllr Gwyneth Bullock, Jan 2013

- Hungerford Lock re-opened after major refurbishment Jan-Apr 2014,

- Hungerford Lock re-opened Apr 2014

Short History of the Kennet and Avon Canal:

The Avon Navigation: The canal that we know today as the Kennet and Avon, linking the great cities of London and Bristol, was developed in three stages - the Avon Navigation (linking Bristol to Bath), the Kennet Navigation (linking Reading to Newbury), and finally the Kennet and Avon Canal proper, linking Newbury to Bath. In the end it opened in 1810, and it cost £1,000,000. Some say that the result is "The grandest canal in the country", "A spectacular engineering feat passing through spectacular scenery", and Kirsten Elliott's 2010 publication calls it the "Queen of Waters".

Follow this link for more on Bristol, Bath and the Avon Navigation, which was built between 1712 and 1727.

The Kennet Navigation: As early as 1708 a Bill to make the River Kennet navigable from Reading to Newbury was introduced into Parliament, firmly supported by Hungerford and several Wiltshire towns which would benefit from cheaper rates of goods transport. There was considerable opposition from Reading, whose tradesmen feared loss of custom when people no longer had to travel to their town to buy and sell. Despite these protests, however, the Kennet Navigation Bill received Royal Assent in September 1715, and the navigation was eventually fully open to traffic in 1723.

Follow this link for more on the Kennet Navigation.

The building of the Kennet and Avon Canal: In 1770 the management began to study the possibility of linking the river Kennet to the River Avon by means of a new canal. The original planned route was by way of Hungerford, Marlborough, Calne, and Chippenham to Bath. Nothing came of this idea at first, and, on 10th March, 1788, a meeting took place in Hungerford to promote the scheme or, in the parlance of the day, "to consider the Utility of an Extension of the Navigable River from Newbury to Hungerford and as far as further as shall hereafter be thought eligible". The meeting supported the idea, and a further meeting was called, including "gentlemen from Hungerford, Marlborough and their neighbourhoods". This second meeting, chaired by Charles Dundas, JP of Barton Court, Kintbury, followed on 16th April 1788.

At both meetings there was general approval of the scheme, and further meetings were held throughout the year to get the support of local landowners and other interested parties. A pamphlet was published, showing the advantages of the proposed canal: The price of carriage of coals, and other heavy articles, will be greatly reduced; the estates of gentlemen and farmers will be improved at much easier expense by the introduction of freestone, timber, brick, tile, and other building materials; lime, peat-ashes and manure of all sorts. They will find new markets for the produce of their farms and estates; corn, malt, cheese, and other productions, will meet with a ready and cheap conveyance to the great marts.'

Three engineers were consulted, and they reported the results of their surveys in the summer of 1789. Each favoured the route via Hungerford, Ramsbury and Marlborough to Bath, but even at this stage there was a little anxiety about the adequacy of the water supply to the summit, although further engineers felt it would be satisfactory.

The Western Canal committee asked John Rennie to make a detailed survey of the route, and after he too had declared the water supply was satisfactory, a meeting was held at Marlborough in November 1790, when it was decided to go ahead with the proposed junction canal at an estimated cost of £213,940.

However, the original subscription target of £75,000 was not met, only £17,700 being received, and it was not until 1792 that the money was found to revive the Western Canal. Around this time it actually became quite easy to fund any new canal - during this time of 'canal mania' an enormous number of canals were projected, and an even greater number of sponsors were eager to jump on the band wagon! Soon a sum of no less than £1,000,000 was pledged for the Western Canal.

In July 1793, Rennie reported the results of his latest survey: he had changed his mind about the route, now favouring a more southerly route via Great Bedwyn, Devizes and Trowbridge. Marlborough would still be served, but by a branch canal from Hungerford. A tunnel 4,312 yards long would be required at the new summit level, but he stated that this new route would be cheaper, and would be completed more quickly than the original one. His revised plan was approved at a meeting at the Castle Inn, Marlborough in August 1793, Rennie taking the opportunity to explain his increasing anxiety about the adequacy of water to the summit of the old route. It was at a meeting in September in the same year that the name of the project was changed to the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The year 1793 had seen the outbreak of the French Revolution, and with it a financial crisis in England. Rising costs were the inevitable result, and the estimated cost of the Kennet and Avon had risen to over £375,000 excluding the Marlborough branch. The committee agreed in January 1794 to abandon plans for the branch, agreeing instead to a rebate of 2d per ton on all goods carried on the Kennet and Avon Canal that were destined for Marlborough.

Follow this link to see John Rennie's 1794 plans for the proposed Kennet & Avon Canal through Hungerford, and the list of proprietors affected.

In April, 1794, the Bill for cutting the canal received Royal Assent, and John Rennie was appointed engineer in May. A further survey, this time by William Jessop, recommended altering the line of the canal to avoid the 2½ mile tunnel. Additional locks would be required at Crofton, together with a steam engine to raise water to the new summit level, but there would nevertheless be a considerable saving in terms of construction time and cost, the new tunnel at the summit level being only 500 yards long.

Work started both at Newbury and Bradford-on-Avon in October 1794, and proceeded steadily. However, the inflationary effect of the Napoleonic Wars resulted in a quarter of the shareholders being behind with their payments by July 1796, and by April 1797 work on the canal had to be slowed considerably.

The opening of the canal to Kintbury, 1797: However, Walter Money, in his History of Newbury 1887, was able to report that 'the first section of the Kennet and Avon Canal between Newbury and Kintbury, a distance of six miles, was opened on June 12th, 1797. A barge of nearly 60 tons, having on board the band of the 15th Regiment of Dragoons, then stationed in Newbury, left that place at twelve o'clock and arriving at Kintbury at half-past two, where the Committee of the Canal, having dined with the Chairman, Mr Charles Dundas, embarked at six o'clock, and arrived at Newbury about half-past nine, the passage of the party affording great interest to a large number of persons assembled at different points on the route.'

The opening of the canal to Hungerford, 1798: Despite growing financial problems with the company, progress at the eastern end was good: the Kintbury to Hungerford section was opened in October 1798. The Bath Chronicle reported that 'on Tuesday the ninth instant, a Barge, having on board a staircase of wrought Portland Stone for J. Pearce, Esq., of Chilton Lodge, several casks of Russian tallow, . . . making in the whole about 40 tons weight, was navigated on the Kennet and Avon Canal from Newbury to Hungerford.''

Progress continued, and within a few months 'the navigation of the Kennet and Avon Canal was opened from Hungerford to Great Bedwyn on July 2nd, 1799, when a barge of 50 tons, laden with coals and deals, arrived at the latter place. The barge, having on board a large number of inhabitants of Hungerford, was accompanied on its passage by a vast concourse of people, and received at Bedwyn with great demonstrations of joy. An entertainment was provided at the Town Hall, and a quantity of beer distributed to the populace and the labourers employed on the canal. The evening concluded with great festivity.' (Money ibid).

The canal is fully open, 1810: Although progress at both the western and eastern ends of the canal was good, the central portion, from Devizes to Great Bedwyn was not completed for another ten years. The first barge to ascend the Caen Hill flight at Devizes, which was the last part of the canal to be completed, did so on 28th December, 1810, and after 40 hard years, the dream of a through passage connecting Reading and Bath was realized.

Follow this link for more on the Building of the Kennet and Avon canal.

The Prosperous years: At the time of the opening of the canal, Hungerford was enjoying the prosperous years of the coaching period. The building of a new wharf right in the very centre of the town, of which the stone warehouse, now converted into two houses, is the only remaining sign, brought further trade and prosperity to the town.

Two important buildings were erected at this time, and it is interesting to note the utilization of Bath Stone, brought by canal, and previously unused in the town. Firstly the new parish church, built between 1814-16, and also the schoolmaster's house for the new National School in the High Street (built 1814).

A chart of trade on the Kennet and Avon in 1814 shows the most important cargoes being carried at the time: coal from Wales, Somerset and Gloucestershire was being carried eastwards along the whole length of the canal, as was building stone from Bath. Limestone from Bristol and Bath was carried to Newbury and Reading, as were slates from the port at Bristol. Flints came west from Reading, as did peat ash from Aldermaston. Tin plate, iron, copper, and salt, timber and pitch from the West Indies, and tea from the East Indies, were all carried.

The wharf at Hungerford was especially busy loading gravel, chalk and whiting for the westerly route, and timber for the east. Grain and flour were very plentiful here, and a fairly equal volume went in both directions.

In 1818, over 200 boats were using the canal, some seventy of these were barges of over 60 tons capacity. The average time taken to travel the 57 miles journey from Newbury to Bath was 3 days 9 hours.

The period of peak prosperity of the Canal was between 1824 and 1839. Toll receipts exceeded £42,000 per year. Dividends on shares averaged 3%. The Canal Company owned many wharves, including Hungerford wharf, where there was a crane and gauging station.

The canal engineer Charles Dundas died (from cholera) on 30 June 1832 (aged 81). He had been an MP for over 50 years, and served in ten successive parliaments. There is a memorial tablet on the chancel arch in Kintbury church.

Follow this link for more on the Prosperous Years.

A century of decline: The prosperous years were soon to come to an end. The first proposal for a railway from London to Bristol came in 1824. The Canal Company sent an engineer, Mr John Blackwell, to investigate. He gave a reassuring report - "there are limits to their powers, which are nearly approached". How wrong he was! Incidentally, there is a memorial John Blackwell (28 September 1840) in St Lawrence church.

In 1832 Isambard Kingdom Brunel was appointed to survey route. By August 1835 the Great Western Railway Act was passed, and building began.

For a while between 1835 and 1840 the canal continued to prosper – partly due to supplying building materials for railway! Such was the speed of railway construction that the line from London to Bristol was fully open by June 1841.

Local canal traffic continued for several years because the route of the railway was some way to the north, through Swindon, but the long distance trade virtually stopped overnight. However, the prosperous years of the Kennet and Avon ended in 1852. The Canal Company was taken over by the GWR in 1852, and thereafter the canal succumbed to the inevitable neglect

The canal trade limped on. During the 1870s and 1880s repeated leaks and progressive silting up led to increasing delays, but despite these complications several steamboats battled to ply a speedy service. C. Evans & Co. operated 'Spitfire' and 'Express' between Hungerford and Reading. In 1877, though, the Canal Company made its first deficit, and it was never to make a profit thereafter. The table shows the trade figures in various years for the canal as a whole, and also the tonnage loaded at Hungerford wharf.

During the Second World War, the near derelict canal was used where possible to transport materials for the construction of pillboxes and other defences along what was known as GHQ Stop Line Blue. Tom Rolt stayed on 'Cressy' at Hungerford when working at Rolls Royce Swindon, and wrote "The last of the K & A boatmen was dragged from retirement and put in charge of a leaking maintenance boat hauled by a broken down horse led by a dim-witted youth" to carry materials and men to build pillboxes. Eventually the overloaded boat sank"!

The canal has always carried a risk of people falling in. On 5 Nov 1940 one of the children evacuees fell into the canal, and was very fortunate to have been rescued unharmed by a Hungerford resident. Follow this for more correspondence on the 1940 canal accident.

Follow this for more on A Century of Decline.

The restoration of the Kennet and Avon Canal: In the 1960s, however, enthusiasts were able to promote the restoration of the Kennet and Avon Canal, and on 20th July 1974 the canal was opened again for navigation to Hungerford, by Cdr the Rev the Rt Hon Lord Sandford.

The final achievement for the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust came when the Queen celebrated the reopening of the entire canal in on 7th August 1990, on board "The Rose of Hungerford".

Follow this for more on The Restoration of the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Recent changes: The canal in the present day is enjoyed by a great number of people - walkers, fishermen, cyclists, and boaters. The challenge is to maintain the fabric of the canal within the budget available.

In 2011 plans were finally agreed to construct a new pedestrian bridge on the west side of the existing road bridge. (See photos above, and NWN article "Footbridge plan is finally approved"). Follow this for more on the Jubilee Footbridge.

In January 2013 a new weeping willow was planted on the wharf in memory of Cllr Gwyneth Bullock. (See the Photo Gallery above, and NWN article "Tree planted in honour of town stalwart").

Hungerford Lock underwent major refurbishment Jan-Apr 2014, and re-opened 12.4.2014.

Additional text by HLP 2008:

The Kennet and Avon Canal runs through the very heart of Hungerford, and whilst in the present day it provides a source of recreation and enjoyment for all ages, in early times it played a big part in the town's economic development.

As early as 1708 a Bill to make the River Kennet navigable from Reading to Newbury was introduced into Parliament, firmly supported by Hungerford and several Wiltshire towns which would benefit from cheaper rates of goods transport. There was considerable opposition from Reading, whose tradesmen feared loss of custom when people no longer had to travel to their town to buy and sell. Despite these protests, however, the Kennet Navigation Bill received Royal Assent in September 1715, and the navigation was eventually fully open to traffic in 1723.

In 1770 the management began to study the possibility of linking the river Kennet to the River Avon by means of a new canal. The original planned route was by way of Hungerford, Marlborough, Calne, and Chippenham to Bath. Nothing came of this idea at first, and, on 10th March, 1788, a meeting took place in Hungerford to promote the scheme. A second meeting, chaired by Charles Dundas, JP of Barton Court, Kintbury, followed on 16th April.

At both meetings there was general approval of the scheme, and further meetings were held throughout the year to get the support of local landowners and other interested parties. A pamphlet was published, showing the advantages of the proposed canal: The price of carriage of coals, and other heavy articles, will be greatly reduced; the estates of gentlemen and farmers will be improved at much easier expense by the introduction of freestone, timber, brick, tile, and other building materials; lime, peat ashes and manure of all sorts. They will find new markets for the produce of their farms and estates; corn, malt, cheese, and other productions, will meet with a ready and cheap conveyance to the great marts.'

Three engineers were consulted, and they reported the results of their surveys in the summer of 1789. Each favoured the route via Hungerford, Ramsbury and Marlborough to Bath, but even at this stage there was a little anxiety about the adequacy of the water supply to the summit, although further engineers felt it would be satisfactory.

The Western Canal committee asked John Rennie to make a detailed survey of the route, and after he too had declared the water supply was satisfactory, a meeting was held at Marlborough in November 1790, when it was decided to go ahead with the proposed junction canal at an estimated cost of £213,940.

However, the original subscription target of £75,000 was not met, only £17,700 being received, and it was not until 1792 that the money was found to revive the Western Canal. Around this time it actually became quite easy to fund any new canal - during this time of 'canal mania' an enormous number of canals were projected, and an even greater number of sponsors were eager to jump on the band wagon! Soon a sum of no less than £1,000,000 was pledged for the Western Canal.

In July 1793, Rennie reported the results of his latest survey: he had changed his mind about the route, now favouring a more southerly route via Great Bedwyn, Devizes and Trowbridge. Marlborough would still be served, but by a branch canal from Hungerford. A tunnel 4,312 yards long would be required at the new summit level, but he stated that this new route would be cheaper, and would be completed more quickly than the original one. His revised plan was approved at a meeting at the Castle Inn, Marl-borough in August 1793, Rennie taking the opportunity to explain his increasing anxiety about the adequacy of water to the summit of the old route. It was at a meeting in September in the same year that the name of the project was changed to the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The year 1793 had seen the outbreak of the French Revolution, and with it a financial crisis in England. Rising costs were the inevitable result, and the estimated cost of the Kennet and Avon had risen to over £375,000 excluding the Marlborough branch. The committee agreed in January 1794 to abandon plans for the branch, agreeing instead to a rebate of 2d per ton on all goods carried on the Kennet and Avon Canal that were destined for Marlborough.

In April, 1794, the Bill for cutting the canal received Royal Assent, and John Rennie was appointed engineer in May. A further survey, this time by William Jessop, recommended altering the line of the canal to avoid the 2'/2 mile tunnel. Additional locks would be required at Crofton, together with a steam engine to raise water to the new summit level, but there would nevertheless be a considerable saving in terms of construction time and cost, the new tunnel at the summit level being only 500 yards long.

Work started both at Newbury and Bradford-on-Avon in October 1794, and proceeded steadily. However, the inflationary effect of the Napoleonic Wars resulted in a quarter of the shareholders being behind with their payments by July 1796, and by April 1797 work on the canal had to be slowed considerably.

However, Walter Money, in his History of Newbury 1887, was able to report that 'the first section of the Kennet and Avon Canal between Newbury and Kintbury, a distance of six miles, was opened on June 12th, 1797. A barge of nearly 60 tons, having on board the band of the 15th Regiment of Dragoons, then stationed in Newbury, left that place at twelve o'clock and arriving at Kintbury at half-past two, where the Committee of the Canal, having dined with the Chairman, Mr Charles Dundas, embarked at six o'clock, and arrived at Newbury about half-past nine, the passage of the party affording great interest to a large number of persons assembled at different points on the route.'

Despite growing financial problems with the company, progress at the eastern end was good: the Kintbury to Hungerford section was opened in October 1798. The Bath Chronicle reported that on 'Tuesday the ninth instant, a Barge, having on board a staircase of wrought Portland Stone for J. Pearce, Esq., of Chilton Lodge, several casks of Russian tallow, . . . making in the whole about 40 tons weight, was navigated on the Kennet and Avon Canal from Newbury to Hungerford.'

Progress continued, and within a few months 'the navigation of the Kennet and Avon Canal was opened from Hungerford to Great Bedwyn on July 2nd, 1799, when a barge of 50 tons, laden with coals and deals, arrived at the latter place. The barge, having on board a large number of inhabitants of Hungerford, was accompanied on its passage by a vast concourse of people, and received at Bedwyn with great demonstrations of joy. An entertainment was provided at the Town Hall, and a quantity of beer distributed to the populace and the labourers employed on the canal. The evening concluded with great festivity.' (Money ibid).

Although progress at both the western and eastern ends of the canal was good, the central portion, from Devizes to Great Bedwyn was not completed for another ten years. The first barge to ascend the Caen Hill flight at Devizes, which was the last part of the canal to be completed, did so on 28th December, 1810, and after 40 hard years, the dream of a through passage connecting Reading and Bath was realized.

At the time of the opening of the canal, Hungerford was enjoying the prosperous years of the coaching period. The building of a new wharf right in the very centre of the town, of which the stone warehouse, now converted into two houses, is the only remaining sign, brought further trade and prosperity to the town.

Two important buildings were erected at this time, and it is interesting to note the utilization of Bath Stone, brought by canal, and previously unused in the town. Firstly the new church: at the beginning of the nineteenth century the Early English-style church, which had stood for about 600 years, had become so delapidated that it was in danger of collapse, and services could not be held in bad weather. In 1811 major repairs and partial rebuilding were undertaken, but no sooner was the work completed than part of the original building collapsed, bringing with it the newly built tower. There was clearly no alternative now but to build a completely new church, and in 1814 an Act of Parliament was obtained, authorizing the Vicar, Church Wardens and Trustees to raise £6,000 for the task. In the end it was actually to cost nearly £30,000, the balance being obtained partly by private donation, and partly by a tontine. Between 1814 and 1816 the remaining portion of the ancient church was demolished, the whole site was cleared, and in its place a new Georgian Gothic building was erected, designed by Mr Pinch of Bath, modelled on his church at Bathwick. It was therefore not surprising that it should be constructed of Bath stone.

1814 also saw the foundation of Hungerford's National School - the Church of England based institution for primary education, at a cost of one penny per week. Previously the only day school in the town was the free Grammar School in The Croft, founded in 1653 by Dr Sheaff, but places here were very limited. The new National School was built towards the southern end of the High Street, on the west side, and although the school building was of brick, the adjacent house was refurbished and clad in Bath stone, for use by the master.

A chart of trade on the Kennet and Avon in 1814 shows the most important cargoes being carried at the time: coal from Wales, Somerset and Gloucestershire was being carried eastwards along the whole length of the canal, as was building stone from Bath. Limestone from Bristol and Bath was carried to Newbury and Reading, as were slates from the port at Bristol. Flints came west from Reading, as did peat ash from Aldermaston. Tin plate, iron, copper, and salt, timber and pitch from the West Indies, and tea from the East Indies, were all carried.

The wharf at Hungerford was especially busy loading gravel, chalk and whiting for the westerly route, and timber for the east. Grain and flour were very plentiful here, and a fairly equal volume went in both directions.
In 1818, over 200 boats were using the canal, some seventy of these were barges of over 60 tons capacity. The average time taken to travel the 57 miles journey from Newbury to Bath was 3 days 9 hours.

It has already been mentioned that many of the High Street properties had had modern frontages added during the latter half of the eighteenth century, but the double effect of the coaching trade and the canal trade brought even greater prosperity during the first four decades of the nineteenth century. The High Street was developed further south up the hill, and new properties were built along Church Street (then Church Lane), Park Street (then Cow Lane), and Charnham Street.

Census figures show an increase in the towns population from 1,987 in the year 1801 to 2,696 by the year 1851, a very considerable growth of 35 per cent. Incidentally, the returns show that despite the importance of trading and marketing, no less than 77 per cent of the adult population of the area was involved in farm work in the year 1851.
The prosperous years of the Kennet and Avon ended in 1852. Isambard Kingdom Brunei's Great Western Railway Act was passed in 1835, and such was the speed of railway construction that the line from London to Bristol was fully open by June 1841. Local canal traffic continued for several years because the route of the railway was some way to the north, through Swindon, but the long distance trade virtually stopped overnight. The Canal Company was taken over by the GWR in 1852, and thereafter the canal succumbed to the inevitable neglect.

Hungerford might have expected that its problems would be solved if the railway could be brought to the town. Indeed, it was not long before just that happened, for a double track broad gauge line was extended to Hungerford from the Newbury 'Berkshire and Hampshire Railway', and the first station, a terminus building, was opened on 21st December, 1847. In 1859, a local company proposed the building of what became the 'Berkshire and Hampshire Extension Railway', a 24 mile extension of single track onward from Hungerford westwards to Seend near Devizes, where it was to link with a branch of the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway. The line was opened in November 1862, and its construction had a considerable effect on the appearance of Hungerford. In the first place, the original terminus station was altered to allow through traffic, and for the first time the broad High Street was spanned by a railway bridge (later replaced in 1898 when the line was converted to double track). A high embankment was built through the very heart of the town, and three more bridges were built, in Croft Lane, Parsonage Lane, and Marsh Lane (all later enlarged to carry the double track). In 1874 the line was changed from broad gauge to the new standard gauge.

The expected prosperity as a result of the railway never materialized, however. So many towns now had their own stations that there was little need to travel to Hungerford. What the railway did bring though was the tendency for some of the population to move away from this rural area towards the bigger towns and cities, where work was expected to be more plentiful and better paid. Indeed, the population of Hungerford actually fell from 2,696 in the year 1851 to 2,513 in the year 1901.
The Canal trade was still limping on - during the 1870's and 1880's repeated leaks, and progressive silting up led to increasing delays, but despite these complications several steamboats battled to ply a speedy service. C. Evans & Co. operated 'Spitfire' and 'Express' between Hungerford and Reading.

In 1877, though, the Canal Company made its first deficit, and it was never to make a profit thereafter. The table shows the trade figures in various years for the canal as a whole, and also the tonnage loaded at Hungerford wharf.

It is intriguing that the trade at Hungerford wharf held up so well at a time when the overall canal trade was in such decline, and when the population of the town was actually falling.

Through the 20th century the trade progressively reduced, but during the 1960s and increasingly active group of enthusiasts worked to bring about the restoration of the Kennet and Avon Canal - and eventually formed the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust. In the summer of 1974 the canal was re-opened to Hungerford wharf once again, and the canal locally began its new life as a pleasure and tourist attraction. Narrow boats are increasingly popular, as are walking, fishing, and cycling. The restoration of the entire canal was celebrated when her Majesty The Queen re-opened the canal in 1990.

See also:

- The Avon Navigation

- The Kennet Navigation

- Building the Kennet and Avon Canal

- Crofton Pumping Station

- The Prosperous Years

- A Century of Decline

- The Restoration of the Kennet and Avon Canal

- Kennet & Avon Canal Photo Gallery (for additional archive photographs)

- Plans for Kennet & Avon Canal through Hungerford, and proprietors affected, 1794.

- "The Kennet & Avon Canal", by Kenneth R. Clew, David & Charles 1973.

- "Queen of Waters", by Kirsten Elliott, Akeman Press 2010

- "Footbridge plan is finally approved" - NWN 10 Mar 2011

- "Tree planted in honour of town stalwart" - NWN 10 Jan 2013

The HHA Archive also holds the following files:

- Canal, Kennet & Avon [A9]

- "The Kennet & Avon Canal Through West Berkshire – West Berkshire Heritage Service, 1999. [S49]