Stainswick Farm Canal Feeder
This Listing is to show just how many water courses were in use to supply the Wilts & berks Canal along its route. The canal passed through Shrivenham parish on its southern end and one of the feeder routes of water came through the land belonging to Stanswick that was then owned by Magdalen College. When the college objected to the abandonment of the canal that had long been put out of business by the railway, the subsequent enquiry released a judgement. Consequently a rather nice map was produced, a copy of which is shown here. A copy of the enquiry findings is below:
Map of Stainswick Farm Feeder to Wilts & Berks Canal (under railway line)
Ref: 1140/3 dated 20/2/1900
Refers to 27/2/1900. Railway & Canal Traffic Act 1888. Wilts & Berks Canal
Board of Trade Enquiry
Ref: W&B Canal Co Act: 8/6/182 and 27/6/1876
Application under the 1888 Act made by the W&BC to abandon the Canal
Magdalen College (owners of Stanswick Farm) objected as this would injure Stainswick Farm’s water supply. A copy of the objections on 18/5/1897 sent to the Secretary of the Canal Co to Swindon and Ass Sec of the Board of Trade 19/5/1897. The Canal Co response to the objection was that the Canal is an artificial waterway and was never intended to supply water to farms or lands. Landowners have long enjoyed the accidental advantage which proximity to the canal confers for which they pay nothing, but they have acquired no rights whatever beyond those conferred by the Company’s Acts.
Wherever a right of water exists under the company’s acts that supply must be continued or compensation paid in lieu thereof. The company does not seek relief from the statutory obligations in this respect except upon payment of proper compensation.
Stainswick Farm is occupied by Mr J.G. Day as tenant without agreement consists of a Farmhouse, two cottage buildings accommodating 60 cows and 269 acres 2 roods and 8perches of land mostly pasture and essentially a London Dairy Farm. In addition to Mr Day paying annual rent of £400 he also pays an extra £5 to Magdalen College for a water Ram which some years ago was erected at the expense of the college. Mr Day also pays the canal company a rent of 10 shillings a year for the right to keep up the head of water and keeping a sluice in order.
If the canal was abandoned by the Board of Trade without the college having control of the sluice erected on ‘Red Copse Hatch’ and the Feeder adjoining thereto which is partly on the college estate, about 80 acres of land will, it is contended, be cut off from water and Magdalen College who will incur an expense of at least £250 in erecting a Ram and supplying water to the farm from the old stream running through the eastern portion of their estate which flows into the Wilts & Berks Canal.
If the sluice becomes vested in Magdalen College the canal company should compensate the college for repairs which from time to time may become necessary. If the canal was abandoned without Magdalen College obtaining control of the sluice and feeder, compensation for loss of water to the farm should be claimed for the college against the canal company.
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