Wilton Water

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View from Crofton Pumping Station, canal and railway in foreground

Wilton Water (or Wide Waters) is a small reservoir, south-west of the village of Great Bedwyn in Wiltshire, which supplies the summit pound of the Kennet and Avon Canal with water. The reservoir lies in the civil parish of Grafton and collects rainfall from the eastern end of the Vale of Pewsey and the surrounding hills.

It was created between 1794 and 1810, by damming a narrow branching valley, and is fed by natural springs. In addition to providing water for the canal, which is pumped by Crofton Pumping Station, it provides a haven for wildlife.[1] It has been stocked with rainbow trout.

When the canal was built, there were no reliable water sources available to fill the summit by normal gravitational means. However a set of usable springs were found adjacent to the canal route about one mile east of the summit pound, and about 40 feet below it. Arrangements were made for these springs to feed the pound below lock 60 at Crofton Locks. Some years later the reservoir was created to enhance the supply to this pound.

The reservoir outfall and sluices are designated as a Grade-II listed building.[2]


  1. Allsop, Niall (1987). The Kennet & Avon Canal. Bath: Millstream Book. ISBN 0-948975-15-6. 
  2. "Reservoir outfall and sluices". Images of England. http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/details/default.aspx?id=310749. Retrieved 26 November 2015. 

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