The most serious breaches ever on the canal occurred along this stretch in 1916, and even more spectacularly, in 1989 when just to the west of the Blundell aqueduct a section of bank under the north towpath gave way releasing three hundred million liters of water into the fields below. The embankment was devastated and the canal drained for nearly twenty miles. The damage was repaired by a modern generation of canal engineers who have continued to embark on a rebuilding programme for other vulnerable stretches of canal across the bog. Layers of peat, plastic membrane and special clay are laid one on top of the other to strengthen the old canal formation for another two centuries. The towpath takes you across the Edenderry-Rathangan r0ad by the Blundell aqueduct (locally ‘the tunnel’) and the unusual and charming horse-bridge which allowed towing horses cross the leg of canal which branches from the mainline to Edenderry town. Do not cross the bridge (unless you are carrying on further west along the main line) but follow the branch into Edenderry. After walking across so much flat land it is a welcome change in the perspective to find the waterway contouring around a hill, which is crowned by the remains of an old castle. The branch curves into Edenderry’s neat harbour, which is, located right beside the town’s main street. There is plenty to see in this well planned estate town, which owes its present shape and landmarks to the Earls of Downshire, once the principal landlords in this area. A walk back up the hill towards the castle ruin, which is surrounded by a public park, will give a parting vista over the Bog of Allen and the canal route you have just walked. Blundell Aqueduct 35 THE GRAND CANAL