River Ant

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{island, water, area}
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{water, park, boat}
{land, century, early}
{day, year, event}
{village, small, smallsup}

The River Ant is a tributary river of the River Bure in England[1]. It is 17 miles long (of which 8.75 miles are now navigable), and has an overall drop of 25 meters from source to mouth. The rivers sources is just east of the village of Antingham in North Norfolk at Atingham pools. Just below the pools the rivers route has been used as a canal in the past starting at what was Antingham bone mill. An Act of Parliament established the North Walsham & Dilham Canal[2] in 1812, as a wide gauge canal able to take a Norfolk wherry. It was built at a cost of £ 30,000 and opened on July 25, 1826, making the river navigable all the way to Dilham where the river widens and deepens for Navigable purpose. It carried manure, offal, flour, coal, and farm produce. In 1885, the canal was sold for £600, but the canal company's solicitor disappeared with the money. The flood of 1912 washed away several staithes. The wherry "Ella" made the final trading journey on the canal from Bacton staithe in 1934. The canal was never nationalised and still belongs to the North Walsham Canal Company. The river, now in its canal form, curves around the north east of the town of North Walsham[2] passing Bacton Wood Mill. Below Bacton mill the canal reaches a lock at Ebridge mill. The lock is in poor condition but it is hoped that this section of canal will one day be restored and made navigable again. Further on at Briggate Bridge there is another mill and another disused lock.

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Norfolk Broads (The Broads Authority)

At Honing Bridge the course enters the The Broads covered by The Broads Authority. Here the canals cuts through a marshy wooded area called Dilham Broad and again curves North East around the Village of Dilham passing under Tonnage Bridge. Below Tonnage Bridge are the last limits of the Navigation through Broad fen before reverting back to the river. Just before Wayford Bridge there is a branch of the canal that runs of to west called Tyler’s Cut. This branch links the villages of Dilham and Smallburgh to the river and the rest of the broads although this is at the moment only navigable by very small boats. At Wayford Bridge the river passes the Wayford bridge Hotel and its row of tiny house boats that line the east bank of the river there. There is only 8 feet of headroom under the bridge which carries the A149 road over the river. The river is only three feet deep at this point also making it only passable by the smallist of pleasure craft.

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