The ‘port’ of Exeter extends right the way down the river and canal from the Quay to where the estuary meets the sea at Exmouth. The two waterways of the canal and river play host to an active boating and water sports community. And, of course, the estuary is recognised as being of international importance to wildlife. As Harbour Master for Exeter’s Port Authority, Grahame and his team work in partnership with estuary and canal users to help ensure that everyone can enjoy the water safely. They also provide a range of services including visitor moorings on the estuary and canal, boat storage facilities and mooring servicing.
The canal is one of the jewels of Exeter and has a fascinating history. In 1563, Exeter traders employed John Trew of Glamorgan to build a canal to bypass the weirs on the river and rejoin it in the centre of the city where a quay would be built. Work began in February 1564, and was completed in Autumn 1566 or early 1567, making it one of the oldest in the country. It ran one and three quarter miles (5.2 km) from just below the Countess Wear to the centre of Exeter. In 1677 the canal was extended and the entrance was moved downstream to Topsham. Commercial traffic continued until 1973. Now, the canal and its basin are a major tourist attraction and a haven for wildlife, water sports, cycling, running, walking and just passing the time. It also faces major development at the basin, Haven Banks and along Water Lane which has greatly concerned the Civic Society and other groups.
Parking onsite is limited for disabled people only, telephone the Mint on 01392 279786 to reserve a space. This City Centre venue is well served by public transport and there are public car parks nearby.
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