Kennet & Avon Canal's Dundas basin receives major transport heritage award
The historic Dundas Basin, on the Kennet & Avon Canal outside Bath, was honoured with a Red Wheel plaque from the Transport Trust today. The unveiling marks the significance of the Basin which has a Grade I Listed aqueduct, built by John Rennie, and forms an important junction with the Somerset Coal Canal.
The Red Wheel scheme is similar to English Heritage’s blue plaque scheme and recognises Britain's greatest transport heritage sites. The award for Dundas Basin means that the ‘big four’ heritage sites on the canal are now all celebrated, with Caen Hill Lock Flight, Claverton and Crofton pumping stations all carrying the accolade.
We were joined for the unveiling by Cherry Beath, chair of Bath and North East Somerset Council, and Sir William McAlpine, president of the Transport Trust.
David Viner, heritage advisor at the Trust, comments: "Dundas Basin was a vital connection along the Kennet & Avon Canal which opened in 1810 and was used by barges transporting coal, stone and agricultural produce between the Bristol Avon and the River Thames at Reading. The junction the basin formed with the Somerset Coal Canal, ensured that the Somerset coalfields could supply the city of Bath by boat at a fraction of the cost of transporting the goods by road.
"Red Wheels are awarded by the Transport Trust to sites of outstanding significance in transport heritage and this recognition for Dundas Basin and its aqueduct completes the set for the Kennet & Avon Canal. Today Dundas Wharf and the Kennet & Avon Canal are looked after by the Canal & River Trust, with great support from volunteers and all the people who enjoy the waterway. We’re all delighted that this special place has been awarded a prestigious Red Wheel."