The Rolle Canal & Northern Devon Waterways Society was formed in 2003 to research, conserve, publicise and restore surviving features of Lord Rolle’s Canal, sometimes called the Torrington Canal.
It was opened in 1827 but in 1870 was bought out by the London & South Western Railway, which built on and destroyed much of its 7½-mile route. However, sections are being restored and repaired where possible, particularly where the canal enters the River Torridge at the Sea Lock and at its terminus basin at RHS Rosemoor Gardens near Great Torrington.
The canal follows the contours of the steep-sided River Torridge, which necessitated the construction of an inclined plane, an iconic aqueduct still in fine condition and some impressive dry-stone wall revetments. Much of its route is now either a public or permissive footpath/cycleway and is extremely popular with locals and visitors alike.
Details of the route and what can be seen are on the society’s website.