Ice hockey, howitzers and rotten lock gates on Portsmouth and Chichester canals | Nostalgia

Although it’s hard to believe today, the Chichester and Portsmouth canals were once linked and were part of the same waterway that joined Portsmouth, eventually, to the River Thames.

By Deborah Croker
Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 9:21 pm

It was a convoluted route which went via Arundel on the River Arun up to Guildford and finally into the Thames.

Why?

To get arms from the factories in London to the Royal Navy via an inland route during the years of war against the French.

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Chichester canal skaters.

Should the French have been blockading all {English} Channel ports it would have been impossible for coasters to make the voyage to Portsmouth from London in the open sea.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

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A British Howitzer gun is pulled across Portsmouth canal at Milton in the 1920s. Picture: Courtesy of the Royal Marines Museum
An undated picture of the Milton Locks area of Portsmouth after the canal fell into disrepair in the middle of the 19th century. Picture: Paul Costen collection/costen.co.uk
'Sidlesham' pulling a Selsey-bound train crossing the Chichester canal, 1911. Picture: West Sussex County Council
The Thatched House pub, Milton Lock when it was surrounded by wooden cottages. Picture: Alan Cunningham collection.