THE RACK THE CANAL BASIN
THE STOP-PLANK RACK
Stop-planks were used to block-off a section of the canal so that it could be drained for maintenance or to conserve water in the event of a major leak. The planks were used to build up a wall by slotting their ends into a pair of vertical grooves on each side of a narrow section of canal. Usually these slots were cut in the stonework of an existing narrow point, such as the underside of a bridge; but where there was no convenient structure, a pair of stone walls was built out from the canal banks for the purpose - this structure was known as a 'stop-plank narrows'.
When the planks were not needed, they were stored in a nearby rack. This particular rack has been salvaged from scrap and is no longer at its original location - the nearest 'narrows' being about half way between Dundas Basin and Brassknocker Basin.
The rack is an interesting example of the re-use of materials: it is constructed from lengths of 'fish-bellied rail' which were recovered from redundant stone tramways in the district. The handrails at Darlington Wharf in Bath are also made from fish-bellied rails.
The Aluminium Bridge The Entrance Lock The K&A Canal Bridge No.177 The Warehouse The Toll House Acraman's Crane Gauging Blocks Lock Keeper's Cottage The Stop-plank Rack More about the Somersetshire Coal Canal >> Brassknocker Basin
The Kennet & Avon Canal Website
The Canal & River Trust website
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