The Horse Road
In this 1914 summer's morning photograph from the BW collection, boat horses have come over the hill via the "Horse Road" from Braunston to the Daventry end of the tunnel and are taking on fuel (from the buckets around their necks) supervised by the boatmen’s children before the next stage of their journey. Meanwhile, the Braunston Tunnel two man steam tug has brought a well-laden boat (or maybe boats - there are four horses and a pony waiting - through the tunnel. It will pull over to the towpath, allow the horses to take over its burden and return to Braunston (perhaps with a couple of boats and their horses waiting out of camera shot) - but where will it turn? There is no winding hole before Norton Junction. Perhaps it is short enough to turn in the width of the cut? It looks to be no more than 32-35 feet long. Note the Tunnel Keeper’s rather grand house at the top of the ramp. This was pulled down by BW in the 1960s, but you can wander around the site and see the foundations and remains of the shrubs and some of the plants which have survived in the garden to the house, although it is overgrown with brambles now. It was a sunlit house then but the trees adjoining Lang Farm have matured since and this cutting is a dark place in which to moor in 2011."