Grand Union Canal
Three Locks
The Grand Union Canal passes Great Brickhill 1.5 miles to the southwest at the Three Locks, a well known local landmark.

Originally the barges coming down from Birmingham had to travel via the Oxford canal, until it met the River Thames, then on by river to London. In 1805 the Grand Junction canal was completed, running from Braunston to the River Thames in London, it was built to give a more direct route between Birmingham and London.

There were two more significant points regarding the construction of this canal in that it was straighter and did not follow the contours of the land. The locks were constructed to enable broad beamed river barges to navigate the canal as well as narrowboats to double up in the locks, and on the waterway reducing the need for a second steerman.

In 1833 the construction of the railway between Birmingham and London started, this was the start of the decline of the canals.

1929 saw the formation of the Grand Union Canal. This was due to the takeover of the Regents and Leicester canals, to complete the link between London and Birmingham.

As the canal went into decline commercially many barges were converted into narrowboats and become floating homes for people to live on, temporarily or permanently.

The waterways network is now mainly used by the leisure industry for holidays, Occasionally you will see a commercial boat operating, but it is a rare site. More traffic is returning to the canal by way of walkers and anglers as the quality of towpaths and access to the canal has been improved allowing people to enjoy their leisure time much better.

The Three Locks is a focal point for people to visit. You can view the canal operating with its flight of three locks, enjoy a leisurely wander along the towpath or just sit outside the pub and enjoy the view.