bridgewater canal facts

It is being created, one short stretch at a time as funds become available.

They also had powers to construct a lock and a short length of canal at French Weir, to connect with the Grand Western Canal, while the Conservators were allowed to conduct an annual inspection of the canal, and to resume their ownership of the river if the canal was not maintained in good order.[8]. [18] Although the physical structure of the canal was not damaged by enemy action, all of the Company records and traffic receipts, together with those of the Bristol and Exeter Railway, were destroyed during a bombing raid. This was authorised in 1825, but no further action occurred. Over time the site had become overgrown but after a 14 month-long restoration project, the Delph has been […] [3], Construction of the canal began in 1822, with James Hollinsworth as the engineer and John Easton as the senior surveyor. The Canal towpath is tranquil, quite and beautiful in places. This was obtained on 21 April 1837, and the works were started. The Bridgewater Canal. A second Wonder of the Waterways came with the replacement of the Duke's stone Barton aqueduct with the Swing Aqueduct on construction of the Manchester Ship Canal, Whilst this work was going on, survey work necessary to extend the canal to the Mersey was being undertaken by Gilbert and others. The Bridgwater and Taunton Canal is a canal in the south-west of England between Bridgwater and Taunton, opened in 1827 and linking the River Tone to the River Parrett. Pleasure craft use the canal which forms part of the Cheshire Ring network of canals. The Stagecoach. The canal is owned by the Manchester Ship Canal Co. (MSC) who bought it from the Bridgewater Navigation Company in 1887. After some teething problems, it was decided that many of the rest of the accommodation bridges would be raised to give 8 feet (2.4 m) of headroom, rather than rebuilding them as swing bridges. The Countryside Act 1968 provided a framework for such action, and a visit in 1971 to see the work being done on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal as part of the creation of the Brecon Beacons National Park convinced the Council of the wisdom of such a course of action. The 3rd Duke of Bridgewater with his Estate Steward and Engineer, John Gilbert sought means of realising the potential of the estates mineral wealth.

The volume of work needed assistance so James Brindley, known to be surveying canal routes for other members of the Dukes family was engaged in July 1759. The only locks on the entire canal being the flight of ten giving access to the Mersey. For those on foot the full route is still navigable (though access to the Mersey can no longer be gained) and the towpath forms part of the 'Cheshire Ring', a 97 mile circuit of canal side paths. Boating on the canal is encouraged, although the lack of a link to the River Parrett at Bridgwater is restrictive. These schemes followed the approximate route eventually taken by the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal, but the canal was instead built as part of a plan to link Bristol to Taunton by waterway.

Fishing is permitted from the towpath side only. The canal was rescued from bankruptcy by the Bristol and Exeter Railway in 1866.

At the Bridgwater end, navigation onto the River Parrett was not easy, and the Corporation of Bridgwater had commissioned a number of surveys to construct a floating harbour.

The new owners were remote, and were more interested in the water supply for Taunton station and for the Bridgwater Dock, than running the canal as a going concern, with the result that the canal deteriorated further. [22] All of the swing bridges were removed, but were then replaced with fixed timber bridges at towpath level. All came to nothing, but in 1836 the Bristol and Exeter Railway Company obtained an Act to construct a railway which would pass through Bridgwater. The towpath forms part of Sustrans' National Cycle Network route NCR-3[33] connecting Bath and Cornwall, and attracts numerous travellers. Instead water was pumped out of the river at Creech,[16] by the Charlton Pumping Station,[17] where the river and canal were only 300 yards (270 m) apart. The canal was scheduled to be opened on 1 January 1827, but the opening was delayed until 3 January, as the connection to the River Tone was not made until 2 January. The MSC Co. manages the canal in conjunction with the Bridgewater Canal Trust. By 1980, the Council had invested over £50,000 in the restoration, which included Kings and Standards locks, and the bottom gates of Newtown Lock. Only the first was authorised, but the economic downturn caused by the Napoleonic Wars meant that construction did not begin immediately. [16], The opening by the Great Western Railway of the Severn Tunnel in 1886 brought further decline, for the imports of coal and slate from South Wales to Bridgwater Dock and the canal could now be moved more directly. SalfordOnline History 250 years of the Bridgewater Canal.

[34], The Taunton-Bridgwater canal is also home to an installation termed the 'Somerset Space Walk', a scale model (530 million:1) of the Solar System centred around the 'Sun' at Maunsel lock with the planets located along the towpath in both directions. There were a number of abortive schemes to link the Bristol Channel to the English Channel by waterway in the 18th and early 19th centuries. James Brindley was the first to survey a route, which would have run from the Bristol Channel to Exeter, following the course of the River Tone for part of its route. [5] A system of paddle gearing – using metal ball weights at the top and metal cylinder weights at the bottom – is unique to the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal. Francis Egerton, the third Duke of Bridgewater (1736–1803) was an aristocratic entrepreneur with extensive estates, who had the vision, wealth and connections to build the Bridgewater Canal, England’s first arterial canal.

Have a look at further information on the Bridgewater Canal Trade and history.

The first section of the canal crossed the River Irwell by means of a unique stone aqueduct constructed over the river Irwell, later replaced by the equally famous Barton Swing Aqueduct over the Manchester Ship Canal. There were objections to the plan to replace it with a fixed bridge with limited headroom, and the planning application was deferred.

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