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Narrowboats and wide boats rediscovered at Harefield - the facts


Laurence Hogg

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  • 3 years later...

Sorry to resurrect an ancient thread. I am trying to find this place, but it‘s a bit of a mystery. There is a lake behind Harefield Marina on the side away from the canal. It is quite inaccessible. There is only a locked gate with sign of angling club. There is a trail called Denham quarry and access to the lake on the opposite side of the angling club. No sign of any boats. Is this the right lake? Have the boats disappeared? I even asked the marina manager and he said they‘d never seen the rows of boats that are in the old pictures. Any tips? 🧐

A7683CB4-6A83-4365-A3AF-D56AA6583F63.png

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From memory of 20 years ago, I could see hulks in the area labelled G U canal in your image. If the marina has expanded, then I think they will have gone. In any case they were in poor condition above the water, so may have just rotted away.

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22 minutes ago, Lizzy said:

Yeah that’s all Harefield Marina. What a pity, it would have been such a find (I love discovering obscure places).

No  the boats are in the flash in the centre,  not in the marina.

Screenshot_20210720-143022_Maps.jpg

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When we ran the trip boats up there in 1982/3 there were many exposed boats in the hare field wide. Some still had remains of cabins.

At the moorings above batchworth  lock there was a cruiser that had 6 portholes. They were all woolwich portholes salvaged from the cabins.

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OK so it seems it is not just one place then. Harefield Wide I believe IS the marina now. The other lake is the one where I was but could only access the bottom part as it’s fenced off by the angling society. Looking at the satellite view you’d think the boats would be visible, but nothing. Guess they must be submerged now? It remains a mystery 🤔

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That picture is of Harefield Wide, what is now the Marina.  It was the overflow storage for Bulls Bridge and all/most of the boats were removed.  The abandoned sunk/buried boats are in the inner lake, Hawtreys Pit, which was only temporarily linked to Harefield Wide.  Unless the water level is low I understand that there is little to see but a thrash in the undergrowth may reveal some remains.  There was a row of butty elums (rudders) viewable in the 70s/80s but I suspect nature will have reclaimed…

 

Paul

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I last stuck my head in there about 3 years ago and there was still a third of a wooden wide boat on the bank, close to the lake. It is accessed via the small wooded area to the right of the small parking area.

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17 hours ago, Lizzy said:

OK so it seems it is not just one place then. Harefield Wide I believe IS the marina now. The other lake is the one where I was but could only access the bottom part as it’s fenced off by the angling society. Looking at the satellite view you’d think the boats would be visible, but nothing. Guess they must be submerged now? It remains a mystery 🤔

Not a mystery at all.

 

Go back to page 1 of this 13 page thread and scroll down to the 19th post. (NOTE to web manager - this would have been easier of the post numbers WOULD HAVE BEEN LEFT AT THE LAST UPDATE).

 

Reading the entire thread will disolve any mystery. The lakes were once connected, unwanted craft moved in, sunk (some allegedly rammed to increase the process), then the access channel back filled, isolating the lake now primarily used for 'angling'.

 

The lock above is 'Widewater', clearly taken from the fact that below it - there are the wide waters of the former gravel pits.

Edited by Derek R.
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Last year l came across a boat in what l thought was harefield woods ,just up from marina ,there is a old digger there aswell.

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3 hours ago, JKS said:

Last year l came across a boat in what l thought was harefield woods ,just up from marina ,there is a old digger there aswell.

 

This boat was still visible there in 2013

 

114 Harefield Pit Abandoned Boat 22nd December 2013.JPG

Edited by Tim Lewis
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