April 2021 Picture of the Month

This may not be the most dynamic picture that I have ever taken, but it represents a huge step forwards after a year of lockdown and shielding. Taken on 30 March, it marks the first trip out with my camera since February last year, part of an editorial project on the life and work of John Rennie the Elder which was put on hold when the virus reared its ugly head. The subject is the Dundas Aqueduct on the Kennet & Avon Canal, located on the Somerset/Wiltshire border a few miles from Bath. It is one of two beautiful aqueducts Rennie built using Bath stone to carry his canal over the River Avon. Work on the Dundas Aqueduct started in 1795, the Avoncliff in 1797 both were complete by 1801. When built, both aqueducts – the Avoncliff is about two miles east – were built with a main central arch and two smaller side arches. But then along came Isambard Kingdom Brunel who wanted his Great Western Railway to run beneath the canal as well – the tracks can be seen beyond the river – resulting in a fourth arch being cut through to the north-west of the river in the 1840s. In 1951 the Dundas Aqueduct became the first canal structure to be awarded Grade 1 listed status. 

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All images and text © John Hannavy