Canal vandalised through Sydney Gardens


It has to be one the most severe cases of graffiti vandalism suffered by this World Heritage city for a long time.

A whole section of wall and tunnel – bordering and covering the historic Kennet and Avon Canal on its way through Sydney Gardens – has been attacked with spray paint.

The graffiti inside the niche on one side of the tunnel leading out of Sydney Gardens.

Slogans and splodges everywhere – including filling a niche on the Father Thames fronted tunnel taking the canal out of the former pleasure gardens and on towards Bathampton.

A closer look at the vandalised portal niche.

There are markings on walls and on the archway in the tunnel itself. The trail of vandalism seems to have started – or ended – on a litter bin just off the towpath and inside Sydney Gardens.

I have no idea if the Council’s graffiti unit would be called in to deal with this. B&NES would probably argue the canal comes under the responsibility of the Kennet and Avon Trust.

More graffiti.

I witnessed the damage at 9 am on Monday morning – January 23rd – and have no idea when the damage was done.

Maybe dog walkers or runners or cyclists can let the police know whether it had been done overnight?

More graffiti on the canal wall.

The Kennet and Avon Canal was designed by John Rennie and opened for navigation from the Avon at Bath to the Thames at Reading in 1810.

Even the railing – just off Sydney Gardens – wasn’t spared.

It is now one of the city’s greatest public assets – passing through two short tunnels – with ornate portals – as it cuts through Sydney Gardens.

We have got to act as the eyes and ears of the city. We cannot allow people to destroy heritage and stain history in this way.


  1. What a mess, mindless vandalism
    Is so upsetting! Let’s hope it can be removed! Spray paint is a curse when it is used like this! Perhaps a reward should be offered to any info on this type of activity! Maybe any spray paint sold should have a photo taken of the buyer!

  2. Very upsetting to have such beauty and tranquility spoiled. And it’s getting much worse; there was more in evidence yesterday (24th) and even more today (25th). I’m wondering why some kind of camera isn’t rigged to catch whoever is responsible red-handed…? And act as a disincentive for similar activity in future.

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