Ash aqueduct (2K)
The Ash Aqueduct

The Official Opening  


On Saturday 29th of July 1995, one month after the aqueduct was completed and the canal re-opened, the Canal Society's 67ft trip boat 'John Pinkerton' ceremonially cruised along the new aqueduct over the Blackwater Valley.

trip boat John Pinkerton approaching (10K) 


On board were the specially invited guests, including Sir Cranley and Lady Onslow, Mr Grahame Smith, Chairman of Hampshire County Council, and Mrs Cecelia Gerrard, Chairman of Surrey County Council.


unveiling the commemorative plaque (11K)

Alighting onto the aqueduct the leaders of the two County Councils first unveiled the commemorative plaque, which was later attached to the parapet on the non-towpath side.


Length: 134m
Weight: 3,500 tonnes
Channel width: 5.5m
Water depth: 1.3m
Road clearance: 5.7m


Mrs Gerrard spoke of the initial planning of the Blackwater Valley Route and that the aqueduct, an unusual project these days in the world of Civil Engineering, had been built within budget, and on time, and would prove a great asset in the increasing recreational use of our waterways.

Mr Smith remarked that the whole of the Blackwater Valley project was a fine example of Local Government achievement involving collaboration between two County Councils and liason with several District Councils to achieve the construction of a project costing around 170 million. He added that this fine aqueduct does justice to both canal and road, to be enjoyed by users of both as a fine piece of civil engineering.

[Read more of the speeches]



The proceedings were watched by an excited crowd, as many as could be accomodated in the limited space on the canal towpath.

watched by an excited crowd (12K) 

  about to cut the tape (13K)

Returning on board the 'John Pinkerton' Mrs Gerrard and Mr Smith jointly cut the tape across the canal.



Thus on a beautiful sunny day the new aqueduct on the Basingstoke Canal was officially opened.

the completed aqueduct, in September 1995 (9K) 

  aerial view: fishing lakes, bat cave and aqueduct (13K)

Aerial view showing completed aqueduct in July 1995. The road is still under construction.

[Place mouse over picture]



Aerial view of the completed road and aqueduct.

[Aerial views: SCC &
Philip Lane Photography

aerial view: completed aqueduct and road (13K) 


Award for the Aqueduct
Nearly a year after its official opening in July 1995, Surrey County Council's Engineering Consultancy Division won the coveted Institution of Civil Engineers (Thames Valley association) Award of Merit for its design of the Ash Aqueduct.

The judges were impressed by the technical complexity of the design as well as the aesthetically pleasing appearance of the aqueduct.



The Ash Aqueduct

Surrey County Council

Engineering Consultancy Division
Highways and Transportation Division
Surrey County Council

Alfred McAlpine Construction Ltd

Department of Transport



Last updated November 2001