towing path

1) A path by the side of a waterway, predating the canal system.

We associate the tow path with canals and horse-drawn barges, and references in the OED date from that period. Nevertheless, the men who worked the inland waterways in the Middle Ages must also have used tow paths. When Turnbridge in Snaith was under discussion in Parliament, in 1442, it was confirmed to the shipmen that they retained the right of having towing paths … as of old, so the practice of towing boats was already well established at that time.

places Snaith
dates 1442

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