The Montgomery Canal
The ‘Monty’ is a quiet canal which is still under restoration with plans to see it in water all the way to Crickheath one day! The plan is to restore the last stretch to Crickheath by 2020. The conservation of Llangollen canal water at Frankton locks makes for a peaceful time as boat numbers are limited on this rural stretch.
For you to enjoy the Montgomery canal, you will have to cover about seven miles of water with seven locks. The access is via the locks at Welsh Frankton which are manned by a lock keeper between the hours of 1200 – 1400, 7 days per week. To book a passage, call the number below at the latest by 10.00 on the day of your passage.
With two pubs – at Maesbury Marsh and Queens Head you still have the option of dining out or a few quiet drinks before moving on.
The ‘Monty’, originally 35 miles long from Frankton Junction near Ellesmere to Newtown in Powys, was built to aid the supply of lime for agricultural purposes improving the land quality of the Upper Severn Valley. Much of the canal was completed as early as 1797 with the remainder taking until 1821.
The canal was profitable until just after the first World War when it started to make heavy losses eventually falling into disrepair. After a breach at Frankton Junction in 1936, the entire canal was left isolated and was officially abandoned in 1944.
Since 1969 the canal has been undergoing a steady restoration with the Frankton Locks being reopened in 1987. The remaining seven miles to Gronwen Wharf has taken until 2003 to complete for navigation.
This short and isolated stretch of canal should take little over a day to navigate at a leisurely pace making an allowance for passing down the locks at Welsh Frankton.