The forecast for our second day of walking was terrible but we discovered that if we left early enough we would be able to complete the day's walking before the arrival of the forecast rain. Being a Sunday we had the added complication of no bus service from Trowbridge, meaning that our only option was to take a taxi for the last stretch of the trip. In order to fit as much walking as possible in before the arrival of rain we headed down to Semington once again and parked close to where we had finished our walk the day before.
|Morning Horse Ride|
Almost as soon as we started my eyes were drawn to a sign that described the former Wilts and Berks canal that joined the Kennet and Avon just here. This canal once took a wandering route across these two counties to Oxford, cutting off a significant dog leg if taking the journey via Reading. Sadly this canal was not profitable and always struggled for water supply, not helped by the fact that leakages were commonplace. The canal finally closed in 1901 although it had barely functioned for years. Despite its closure there is a Trust that has been set up with the intention of restoring the 52 mile long canal. At this end the sign details how the canal trust are going to deal with the problem of the route being obliterated. It seems that an entirely new parallel channel is going to be dug between here and Melksham, although construction has yet to begin.
|Hilperton Marina Bridge|
A little way further on we passed the Tithe Barn. This remarkable structure wasn't originally built as a barn but became one for a good many decades until 1974 when it was transferred to the nation for preservation. Apparently it was originally part of a Grange that was part of the Shaftesbury Abbey estate. When dissolved in 1539 during the reformation the Grange than became a farm - the barn is all that is left from this time.