||In 1789 an Act was obtained for the Andover and Redbridge Canal
which followed the course of the Rivers Test and Anton to Andover. In May 1795
the Salisbury and Southampton Canal received royal assent for its bill to
construct two branches to the Andover Canal: one following the River Dun from Kimbridge towards Salisbury, the other from Redbridge along the foreshore to
Southampton. Work commenced in August of that year. The construction of the Canal proved more than difficult,
with sinking sand creating great problems. The original
estimate of £784 per mile for the canal between Lockerley and West Grimstead
prove to be a gross miscalculation and the eventual cost was over £2000 a mile.
The canal was completed beyond West Grimstead into Alderbury and Tunnel Hill by 1806. As the costs escalated, it became clear that the canal was unlikely to give any return on any further investment and no more loans were forthcoming.
The photographs above right and left show the canal bridge at East Grimstead which can still be seen and is now a registered listed building.
By 1808 traffic that had been using the canal on the Redbridge to Southampton line ceased and soon after that, it ceased on the Kimbridge to Alderbury line. Without maintenance the canal fell into ruin.
Further evidence of the canal can be seen between West Grimstead and Alderbury as the photographs below show.
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