Thursday, 24 February 2011

Lee and Stort at Hertford and Ware

It being the sunniest day for ages I took time out to explore the Lee and Stort Navigation at Ware - or is it Hertford? I think they're joined like Newcastle-Gateshead, for convenience, though maybe at arms length.
I chose Ware because of the huge disparity in distance between Ware and my home near Cambridge on the one hand by road, on the other by boat. I reckoned it was 24 miles or a little over half an hour via the A10 - and 240 miles or 16 full days boating! So I won't be popping down to Hertford on Patience in the immediate future.
On the other hand it's a pleasant spot, with quite a few boats of different kinds moored up around Hartford lock and a few more at Ware lock.
The lock keeper's cottage at Hertford is being done up at the moment too and should look good when complete. There's historical detail about it here.

Also of interest is the New Gauge House building which marks the start of The New River. Neither new nor a river, this is the start of an aqueduct taking fresh water from the Lee to London. Opened in 1613 it winds its way to the centre of London and there is now a 27 mile walk that follows its path. Having seen the other end in an unexpectedly picturesque park in Stoke Newington I was pleased to see its source. More about The New River here.
Also worth noting that the Lee Valley is to become the white water venue for the Olympic Games. Fortunately no white water visible here in Hertford ....

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