Volunteers have restored a nineteenth-century toll house on the Kennet & Avon Canal in order to create a ‘welcome station’ for visitors to the canal.
Volunteers have spent the last year working on the building, which stands next to the aqueduct at the junction of the Kennet & Avon Canal and the now derelict Somerset Coal Canal.
One of the most spectacular sights on the Kennet & Avon Canal, Dundas Aqueduct was built by renowned waterway engineer John Rennie to take the canal over the River Avon, and was the first canal structure to be designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument in the country.
The toll house, originally used to take fees from boats passing from one waterway to the other, will now be a welcome station for the area’s many visitors.
Mark Evans, waterway manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “The volunteers who’ve been working on the toll house have put in a massive amount of work, and it’s fantastic to see it back in great condition. It’s not just about bringing a historic building back from the brink – this project shows how, with help, we can use what’s already here to really enhance the area. We’ll now be able to provide a base for volunteers and staff to work from here, welcoming visitors and telling the stories that really bring the history of the canal to life.
“Now we’ve got this up and running, we’re also looking for more volunteers to get involved, so if you have a bit of time, like meeting new people and being outdoors, please do get in touch.”