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Transcription: 

   

CHICHESTER CANAL: CASHER LOCK

    

Casher Lock was named after Edward Casher 

who was a Portsmouth wine merchant. 

By 1830 he was Company Chairman of the canal 

and he later become mayor of Portsmouth. 

There was also a swing bridge named after him a little further along, 

behind the security office for the marina. 

  

LOCKS

    

Six locks were built on the line of the Portsmouth and Arundel canal. 

There were two at Ford, where the canal joins the River Arun, 

two here near Chichester Harbour and two on Portsea Island. 

    

Before the canal was built, the height of the land had to be surveyed. 

Some areas were filled in and others cut through 

so that the canal bed was level in order to retain the water. 

Where there was a change in water level, 

locks were used to move boats from one level to another. 

Most of the coastal plain is very flat 

so only a few locks were needed where the canal connected to the sea. 

The lock is no longer in working order 

as the gates have long since decayed 

but the brick structure of the lock itself is still in place. 

The metalwork from the lock gates has been restored 

and can be seen in the visitor centre. 

At the eastern end is a concrete dam 

which regulates the water level back towards the canal basin 

and out towards the Harbour. 

There is a modern lock at the entrance to the marina 

where the boats can be seen going in and out, how a modern lock works. 

     

WILDLIFE

    

In the mature tree beside the road is a rookery. 

Rooks nest together and they build their nests in the treetops quite early in the year. 

Just beyond the public car park at the top of the marina, 

there is a bird hide looking on to an area of reed beds. 

In summer reed, sedge and cetti’s warbler’s can be found here 

and in winter wigeon, teal, tufted ducks, brent geese 

and even the occasional water rail. 

Along the canal, emperor dragonflies catch insects 

whilst sometimes the flash of blue of a kingfisher can be seen. 

     

Several swans usually nest along here 

and occasionally a black swan may be seen. 

In spring, cuckoos seek out reed warbler’s nest 

to lay their own egg in. 

In summer there is a wonderful array of wild flowers in bloom 

along the edge of the canal. 

     

AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY

    

The section of the canal between Cutfield Bridge 

and Salterns Lock is within the 

Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) 

and is leased to Chichester Marina

     

WORLD WAR II

     

During the Second World War, 

the canal was refilled with water as 

an anti-tank obstacle and concrete blocks, 

known as dragons teeth, 

were also situated on the other side of the road. 

Also the road bridges were mined 

and a pill-box constructed to defend the main road from the coast. 

     

EGREMONT BRIDGE

    

Further down, Egremont Bridge allows access to the opposite bank. 

The wing bridge mechanism and bridge structure 

are modern and were constructed from part of a naval vessel. 

Part of the main girders of the original bridge 

showing its name is displayed alongside. 

    

    

     

Transcription:

    

CHICHESTER CANAL: CUTFIELD BRIDGE

     

Cutfield Bridge was named after William Cutfield of Climping 

whose family were shareholders from the beginning 

of the Portsmouth and Arundel Navigation Company

    

    

CARGO

    

Canals were first built because the canal boats 

were an economical way to carry heavy or bulky loads. 

A variety of goods were transported along this canal. 

Coal for the gasworks in Chichester was one of the main cargoes, 

together with shingle for roads and buildings. 

Ashes, chalk, limestone and manure to improve

 the surrounding agricultural land are among the other goods carried. 

Agricultural produce was also transported from West Sussex 

to feed the fleet in Portsmouth. 

The journey to London was 116 miles and took four days. 

Gold bullion was regularly transported 

from the Royal Navy at Portsmouth to the Bank of England in London, 

guarded by armed Redcoats riding alongside. 

It was reported that in one week in 1830, 

40 tons of gold was transported. 

One of the loads carried to London was 

20 tons of marble from the Mediterranean for the king at Windsor. 

The canal never carried the loads that were anticipated, 

partly because they could not find enough cargo 

to make the return journey profitable. 

Also the Napoleonic Wars had ended 

before it opened so it was safe, 

and quicker, to sail around the coast again.  

    

     

WILDLIFE

     

Today, this part of the canal is very tranquil 

and home to a wealth of wildlife. 

Reedmace, more commonly known as bulrush, 

lines the edges, along with a range of marginal plants 

as as great willowherb and purple loosestrife. 

Along the banks are colourful display of oxeye daisies, 

meadow cranesbill and vetches, 

which provide nectar for butterflies. 

Dog roses and traveller’s joy ramble through the elder and other shrubs. 

Grasses are also important as meadow brown butterflies 

lay their eggs on the stems. 

The leaves and see are an important food source for many other creatures. 

In summer, blue and green emperor dragonflies 

patrol their territory and catch other insects in mid air. 

Blue and blue-tailed damselflies bask on plants, 

soaking up the sunshine or fly in tandem, 

mating and laying their eggs on the water plants. 

Cormorants can sometimes be seen swimming low 

in the water and diving to catch fish. 

          

 

DECLINE OF THE CANAL

   
      

With the coming of the railway to the area in 1846, 

trade on the canal decreased. 

The Portsea Canal had ceased to be used by 1827 

and the Hunston to Ford section by 1853 

although the Chichester branch continued to carry a meagre trade. 

However, it was decided to wind up the Portsmouth and Arundel Company in 1888. 

Chichester Corporation did not want to loose the use of the canal 

and so an agreement was reached whereby ownership 

was transferred to them in 1892. 

       

By the beginning of the 20th Century, 

road traffic had increased and vehicles were heavier. 

The swing bridges, designed for horse and cart, 

were showing signs of strain. 

Complaints about the condition of the bridges 

were made to the Corporation and in 1923 

it was agreed with the Highway Authority 

that the bridge would be replaced with a culvert, 

as all trade had ceased some years earlier. 

Chichester Corporation included in a clause 

which enabled them to request the reopening of the navigation route, 

if the need arose. 

   

    

       

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