Sunday 13th April 2014

WALK LEADER – JOHN POLLEY (New River Action Group)

This is an all day walk of around 12 miles. If you prefer to join/leave us at any
point of the route then you are welcome to do so.

Walk highlights:-

  • View the northern portal of the NR Wood Green tunnel
  • Walk the boundary of ‘Bowes Manor’ & view the deviation point of the old Tottenham Loop
  • Walk the Arnos Loop (Pymmes Brook)
  • View the Clarendon Arch (Salmons Brook)
  • Walk the Enfield Loop
  • Walk part of the Whitewebbs Loop (Turkey Brook)
  • View the ‘Flash’ cast iron aquaduct (Turkey Brook)
  • Clarendon Arch - Bush Hill
  • ‘Flash’ Aquaduct - Whitewebbs

Our walk starts at 10am outside Bounds Green Underground station & ends at around 5pm at Enfield Chase station.

We will take a brief morning break in Broomfield Park in Palmers Green, a one hour lunch stop in Enfield Town & then an afternoon break in Whitewebbs Park before heading back towards Enfield Town.

Download printable version with photos and table of timings to various points en route here.

When the NR was constructed no means of pumping water existed. In order to maintain a natural downward flow from the source at Chadwell Spring near Ware to the New River Head at Islington it closely followed the 100 foot contour. The water flow descended a mere 20 feet (5.8 metres) over the course of it’s 40 mile journey towards London representing an average of only 6 inches per mile, quite an achievement in the early 17th Century!

Although it followed the 100ft contour, the NR had to cross many intersecting watercourses along the way. This was mainly achieved via numerous ‘loops’ that considerably extended the length of the watercourse. These took the flow up one-side of each watercourse & back along the other.

The invention and increased use of ‘modern’ technology such as wind & horsepower, the steam engine and latterly electricity, enabled the loops to be by-passed & decommissioned & the course to be straightened and shortened to the NR we see today.

Today’s walk will take us along some of the still extant old New River loops & along part of the existing course of the New River. I will provide maps to enable you to see where these loops were located, especially in relation to what we can see today, & how they contributed to maintaining the flow of the river over the many intersecting natural watercourses.

I do hope you will enjoy seeing some of the old loops & that you can join us.

Please confirm that you are coming & where you intend to join us in order that I may have an indication of numbers & to keep an eye open for you!


John Polley
07814 546772
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