Place:Braunston, Northamptonshire, England


Alt namesBrandestonesource: Family History Library Catalog
Coordinates52.283°N 1.2°W
Located inNorthamptonshire, England
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Braunston is a village and civil parish in the county of Northamptonshire, England. It has a population of 1,675 (2001 census). Braunston is situated just off the A45 main road and lies between the towns of Rugby and Daventry.

The main village of Braunston is situated on a hill above the road and the canals, and formerly had a windmill, the building of which still stands but without any sails. The village contains several pubs (The Boathouse, The Admiral Nelson, The Plough, and The Wheatsheaf), a selection of shops (including Londis), a fish and chip shop, and a primary school. There is also a hotel called the Braunston Manor Hotel.

Braunston's main claim to fame is its canal junction between the Oxford Canal and the Grand Union Canal, which was once an important part of the national transport system. Many former boating families have links to Braunston, the churchyard in the village having many graves of boatmen and women.

The unique triangular junction between the two canals has two bridges made at Horseley Ironworks carrying the towpath over the canal. This was not the original meeting point of the Grand Junction and Oxford Canals: the junction was moved in the course of improvements to the Oxford Canal in the 1830s, prior to which the junction was near where the marina is today, and where a third Horseley Ironworks bridge can be seen.

The canals are no longer used for carrying freight, but are now used mostly by pleasure boats. Braunston has a marina filled with these pleasure boats and is usually quite busy.

From the marina, six locks carry the Grand Union Canal up to Braunston Tunnel, some 2,049 yards (1,874 m) long.

Despite its small size, Braunston was once served by two railway stations, both now closed. The first, Braunston London Road was on the former LNWR Weedon to Leamington Spa branch line, via Daventry, was located near the marina and closed in September 1958. A couple of miles north-west of Braunston was Braunston and Willoughby station on the former Great Central Main Line, which served Braunston and the village of Willoughby, which it was closer to. This was the last main line to be constructed from the north of England to London and opened in March 1899. Braunston and Willoughby station closed in April 1957 and the line itself in September 1966. To the south of the station was the 13-arch Willoughby viaduct crossing the River Leam: the viaduct was demolished about 1980.

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