Everybody loves the Cain Hill Flight. Well, pretty much everybody!
The twenty nine locks have a rise of 237 feet in 2 miles, basically 72 m in 3.2 km (think 1 in 44 gradient). The flight of locks was engineer John Rennie’s solution to climbing the steep hill, and was the last part of the 87-mile (140 km) route of the canal to be completed.
The locks are grouped as follows:
- the lower seven locks, Foxhangers Wharf lock to Foxhangers Bridge lock, are spread over three quarters of a mile (1.2 km)
- the next sixteen locks form a steep flight in a straight line up the hillside and are designated as a scheduled monument. Because of the steepness of the terrain, the pounds between these locks are very short. As a result, fifteen of them have unusually large sideways-extended pounds, to store the water needed to operate them.
- a final six locks take the canal into Devizes.
The flight takes around five to six hours to traverse in a boat. But hey! That’s what canal boating is all about! The good news is that at the bottom of the Caen Hill flight is Caen Hill Marina.