Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
At Foxton, you’ll notice there’s a bit of a slope. So, how do you dig a canal that rises 75 feet up such a steep escarpment? Visit the museum and visitor interpretation panel trail to reveal a fascinating feat of engineering.
The Grand Union Canal – as the name suggests – is a union of lots of smaller canals. In 1810 an Act of Parliament authorised a new section to be built from the Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Canal at Foxton to the Grand Junction Canal at Buckby. It meant that for the first time boats and cargos could travel from the River Thames at Brentford to the East Midlands, including the coalfields of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
The locks were opened on the 9 August 1814. Surprisingly, today, they’re essentially the same as when they were built.
Come and discover the story that unfolded here at Foxton during the building of the canals. Why it was so special. And why it’s important that the Canal & River Trust continue to care for our waterway heritage?
You’ll find our interpretation panels and an audio trail around the whole of the Foxton area introducing you to Jack Cryer and the other characters that navigated their way through these imposing locks.
The incline plane – a type of boat lift – came later. Opened in 1900, it only lasted 10 years. You can see what’s left of it from various locations at Foxton, not least the viewing platform. But to really understand what it was, why it too was built and why it’s not still in use, you’ll have to visit Foxton - and bring your smart phone…
Foxton Canal Museum – now known as The Canal Museum at the Boilerhouse – is a recently refurbished museum created inside the original boilerhouse. As the name suggests, it was once full of powerful mechanics that controlled the barge containers (or cassons) up and down the inclined plane.
It’s now a fully accredited museum. Bringing to life what is was like to live and breathe the canals in the 19th Century; showcasing families and their working conditions.
It’s is run by the Foxton Inclined Plane Trust (FIPT). And while FIPT is a separate charity to us, we have worked closely for years together to promote and protect Foxton’s unique piece of canal heritage.
The team at the Boilerhouse have created the Foxton Discovery app.
Using the very latest in virtual experience technology you can stand alongside the inclined plane and use your smart phone or tablet device to see the boat lift magically appear in front of your very eyes.
You may want to download the free Foxton Discover App from your mobile or tablet before you visit Foxton.
Meanwhile, back out on the locks you'll find our small army of dedicated volunteer lock keepers preserving Foxton’s stunning staircase in full working order, so boaters and the local Leicestershire communities alike, can continue to enjoy our wonderful waterways.
However, as a charity, we can only stretch so far. So if you want to get involved - no matter how much time you think you can give - go to our volunteering page now...
Volunteer at Foxton Locks
Painting - gardening - guided tours - Explorer education volunteers - volunteers lock keepers - and many more roles
Last date edited: 18 October 2017