Northampton Branch

Welcome to the Northampton Branch web pages

The Northampton Branch area covers the Grand Union between the Iron Trunk Aqueduct at Cosgrove to Braunston; the Leicester Line (Grand Union) from Norton Junction to the Welford Arm; the whole of the Northampton Arm (Grand Union) and the River Nene between Northampton and Thrapston.

Also in our area is part of the Buckingham Canal which is currently the subject of some restoration by the Buckingham Canal Society; the Westbridge Branch of the River Nene, which since 1984 has been the subject of regular clean-ups and rallies to encourage its use and keep it open to navigation, and the proposed new Daventry Canal which forms part of Daventry District Council's Town Centre Vision. Unfortunately at a meeting on 16th May 2018 DDC decided to cease work on the project.

Full information on what the branch does can be found by using the page links on the left.

Branch Chairman honoured at Prince Charles's 70th Tea Party

Bernard Morton, Northampton Branch Chairman was chosen as one of 70 inspirational volunteers to share in Prince Charles's birthday celebrations. Read more...

Branch Achievement Award 2018

The Branch has won the 2018 Branch Achievement Award for its work promoting more widely appreciated and well maintained local waterways. The award was presented by National Chairman, Ivor Caplan, at the charity's AGM in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, attended by over 160 people in October. Read more on the News Page.


Win big with Club 100

We have launched the Branch’s own Club 100 to raise funds for Branch activities. Prizes include £500, £200 and £100 and the rest will go into Branch funds to support local waterways causes. The Club 100 is a great opportunity for non-boat owning members, and those who live some distance away, to become more involved in the Branch. It is only open to IWA Northampton Branch members. 

The Club will run annually, so we are asking for a single payment for each year for each share. Each member can have up to four £15 shares. (A total of four for couples with joint membership.) The more people who become members, the bigger the prizes on offer. There will be two public draws per year, one at our annual dinner in November and one at our AGM in March. 

The 2018 Prize Draw took place at the Branch Dinner in November. Please ensure Membership Forms are submitted and payments made by 28th February 2019 to be included in the next draw. (Click here for a form, and here for Rules).

Based on 100 members the prizes will be – (The prizes will be adjusted pro-rata up or down if memberships are less or more than 100)

1st prize £500, 2nd prize £200, 3rd prize £100

For 2019 onwards, there will be two draws — one at the AGM in March, the other in November or December. The prizes in each draw will be (dependent on more or less than 100 members) -

1st prize £250, 2nd prize £100, 3rd prize £50

If you have any questions, email Paul Lynam, Branch Treasurer,

Nature Trail Challenge

A new canal mosaic nature trail, featuring 34 mosaic designs, has been installed along the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal.  This wonderful new feature is made possible by the work of volunteers from the IWA Northampton Branch, pupils from two Northampton primary schools – Briar Hill and Delapre, and mosaic expert David Bowers.  

At each of the 17 locks on the 4 ¾ mile Northampton Arm you will find two mosaic plaques set into the grass. One depicts an aspect of canal heritage, the other has a letter with an associated image from nature.

Download the form to collect all 17 letters and work out the phrase, then submit your form by email or post to earn yourself a Certificate of Achievement. 

Historic Timeline Mural

With help from Lemon Pop Workshops and our own volunteers, pupils from Delapre Primary School have completed a 70 metre long colourful mural under the M1 bridge over the Northampton Canal Arm. The artwork designed by the children themselves, records a history of Northampton starting with Northampton Castle, moving through events like the Battle of Northampton in the War of the Roses, the Great Fire of Northampton, the importance of the boot and shoe industry and the building of The Guildhall to the floods in 1998.


Northampton Arm Adoption

Work parties ard held on the first Sunday and the third Tuesday in the month.

Diary - Social Programme, Meetings and Talks

Northampton Branch holds regular meetings on the second Tuesday of the month during the winter at The Walnut Tree PH, Blisworth at 8pm. In addition the Branch organises an Annual Boat Gathering in May and other social events throughout the year.

Members and Non-members are welcome

Refreshments and parking are available at The Walnut Tree PH and the meeting room is fully accessible. There is no charge for attending monthly meetings but we hold a raffle to offset room hire costs and speakers expenses.

See Diary page for full details of meetings

Contact the Branch

Sandie Morton

Local Waterways

Grand Union Canal
River Nene

Waterways in Restoration

Daventry Arm
Buckingham Canal

Please see information on Navigation Restrictions below.

Navigation Restrictions

Northampton Arm (Grand Union Canal)
Starts At: Lock 1
Ends At: Lock 17
Up Stream Winding Hole: Immediately above Lock 1
Down Stream Winding Hole: Immediately below Lock 17

Monday 28 January 2019 08:00 until Friday 15 March 2019 16:00

Type: Navigation Closure
Reason: Repair

For the latest navigation information on the River Nene please go to the Environment Agency website.

Branch receives CRT SE Volunteer Organisation Recognition Award 2014


See News Page for more details

Northampton Branch has Adopted the Northampton Arm 


Task parties are held regularly on weekdays and Sundays at different locations on the Arm. Work includes vegetation clearance, weeding, litter picking and painting at locks. To date Locks 14 and 17 have been completely re-painted, the lock landing below Lock 17 has been completely cleared and the narrows above Lock 17 has been cleared of overhanging vegetation. Other work has been carried out at the top of the Arm.

All are welcome. See Diary Page for date of next Task Party.

The Branch has produced a Guide to the Northampton Arm. Copies are available from a box at Gayton Yard Sanitary Station at the top of the Arm.

A Braunston Canal Walk leaflet has also been produced by Branch Member, John Pomfret.