Northampton Branch

New mural under the M1!

Above photo - new M1 mural

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. The proposed new Daventry Canal is unfortunately not now being actively pursued.

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

Another Mural to brighten up the canal under M1 Bridge

Our branch has again teamed up with a local Primary school, this time Rothersthorpe, to create another story in pictures under the M1 Bridge.  This month (June) Rothersthorpe school children painted a mural depicting 'Our Canal through the Seasons'.  They had a great time splashing paint around and did a wonderful job - Thank you children of Rothersthorpe Primary! Thanks also go to Blisworth Art Group who designed the mural.  The project was also supported by CRT who provided enssential equipment.


Picture above shows part of the mural, more photos :

Photo1 :Photo2:

This mural follows on from the first one, done last Summer, on the towpath side of the canal by Depapre school children. See article below. More pics of the 2018 mural:

Photo1:   :Photo2:   :Photo3: 

There was an official opening ceremony on Saturday 13th July - see news article

Boat Gathering news

For this year's boat gathering we are joining up with the Village at War weekend at Stoke Bruerne, organised by Friends of the Canal Museum, more details at boat gathering page.

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.  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. 

There are cash prizes to be won in each draw, and the remaining monies will go into Branch funds to support local waterways causes. We are aiming for 100 members and based on 100, the prizes will be –

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

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

As at start of 2019 there are 32 members, so we need more! 

For your chance to win join up! Get your membership form submitted and payment made by 28th February 2019 to be included in the next draw. (Click here for a form, and here for Rules).

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

Buckingham Canal

Please see information on Navigation Restrictions below.

Navigation Restrictions

No known current restrictions.

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

The Northampton Arm is maintained by volunteers - all are welcome to join this friendly band of workers!


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. The programme for early 2019 will focus on vegetation clearance around the locks.  Work for the summer months will include repainting some of the locks, that haven't yet been done.

All are welcome. See Diary Page for Task Party dates.

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.