The Furzebeam section begins soon after the canal has crossed the Beam Aqueduct, where the canal went around the outside of a loop in the river under Furzebeam Hill. There is a permissive path along this section and although you need to watch where you walk, it is well worth a detour off the Tarka Trail.
A substantial accommodation bridge once carried the driveway to Beam House, the old aqueduct now serves the same purpose. You can see just how narrow the tub-boats were, the towpath is nearly as wide as the canal.
There now follows a remarkable section of the canal, squeezed in between a sharp drop down to the river Torridge on one side and solid rock on the other. In many places the canal was barely wide enough to fit the tub-boats, even though they were only 5' 6" wide (1.75m).
For nearly 150 years from closure this section changed very little, until the Winter of 2015/16....
.... when a part of the walled embankment suffered a partial collapse. Half of the towpath was lost and the permissive footpath was closed as a safety measure. Over the following months, Rolle Canal & Northern Devon Waterways Society stalwart, Tony Barnes, led a team of volunteers who created a diversion to the path.
It is hoped that the damage embankment can be reinstated at a future date, but it's going to cost a lot of money and will be something of a logistical nightmare.
More photos of the Furzebean section HERE