Bath AreaThe Avon enters the west side of Bath through the old industrial area of Locksbrook. The Trail runs alongside Weston – or 'Dutch' Island where the Dutch workers who were skilled in brassmaking came to work in the early 18th century.
The Avon continues upstream through the elegant city to its source in the Cotswold Hills. The River Avon Trail ends at Pulteney Weir. This is the Head of the Avon Navigation beyond which no boats may pass.
The Avon Navigation
The economic prospects of the area boomed when the stretch of water between Hanham and Bath was opened for navigation. Weirs had long since existed to power the 30 or so water mills between Bristol and Bath but boats could only move on a high tide. The Avon Navigation created six locks to control the tidal river and conduct boats uphill and upstream to Bath.
The first barge sailed upstream from Hanham in 1727. Almost a century later this lock was to become the first of over 100 on the Kennet & Avon Canal, linking the region with London. These developments enabled Bath to experience a boom time, particularly as one of its greatest exports – Bath stone – could then be shipped all over the world.