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Waterways Chronology from 1831 to 1840

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Chronology Index

1831

Historical Account of the Navigable Rivers, Canals

Historical Account of the Navigable Rivers, Canals, and Railways, Throughout Great Britain, by Joseph Priestley (Junior) Published by Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green.

Barnsley Canal

Francis John William Thomas Giles

While acting for the Exchequer Bill Loan Commissioners in the matter of the Heck & Wentbridge Railway he was asked by the canal company how much the purchase of the land would cost.

Chard Canal

James Green

He examined a proposal for the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal Company to build the main drain at Westmoor as part of their navigation and suggested it would be better for them to make a branch direct to Chard.

Lancaster Canal

Bryan Padgett Gregson

He makes four positive suggestions to deal with the treats posed by the proposed Wigan & Preston Railway. 1 - Convert the tramroad into a railway, to speed up transhipment. 2 - The same but in addition to make suitable changes to permit locomotive working. 3 - Seek amalgamation with the railway and abolish the tramroad. 4 - Abolish the tramroad so forcing the railway to make branches to the pits.

Macclesfield Canal

Fully open.

River Nene

Thomas Pear

He completed his work of overseeing the stoning of the banks for works under the 1827 Act. He is refered to as John Pear on page 213 of The Canals of Eastern England but as Thomas in the index entry.

River Nene

William Swansborough

He was resident engineer for the Wisbech cut that had now been completed two years earlier than the Act required. The Nene Outfall commisioners especially praised him, John Pear who superintended the stoning of the banks and the contractors Joliffe & Banks.

River Severn

Thomas Rhodes

As engineer of the proposed Severn Navigation Company he proposes weirs across the two branches of the river at Gloucester with a lock in the east channel, a second lock near Upton and three more between Worcester and Stourport. He estimated the cost as 200,000 for a 12 foot depth up to Worcester and 6 foot to Stourport, 168,248 for a 10 foot depth to Worcester or 111,544 for a sufficient depth to take existing craft efficiently.

Shrewsbury Canal

Henry Williams

He reported on the cost of altering locks and bridges on the canal to make it suitable for narrowboats.

Chard Canal

James Green

He carried out a survey and proposed a canal leaving the Bridgwater & Taunton at Creech St Michael with five pounds separated by inclined planes and lifts. The cost was estimated at 57,000 andthe completion time as five years.

Sir Nigel Gresley's Canal

George Stephenson

He was asked to report on the practiabliity of converting the canal, and the other Newcastle canals, into railways. He oposed the idea because the canal turns were too sharp for a railway. He recommended a single-track inclined plane to carry boats from one canal to another at a cost of 2,206 plus land, cutting and embanking.

Ashton Canal

John Wood

He was appointed engineer at 180 a year.

1832

Aire and Calder Navigation and River Aire

Francis John William Thomas Giles

While acting for the Exchequer Bill Loan Commissioners in the matter of the Heck & Wentbridge Railway he offered to sell the property to the canal company but they declined.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

Thomas Bradley

Now in poor health, the company appointed William Gravatt as engineer, nominally under his control.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

Bryan Donkin

Recommended William Gravatt as engineer for the navigation under Thomas Bradley.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

William Gravatt

He was appointed as engineer on the recommendation of Bryan Donkin. He stayed only a matter of months despite his "Talents un-questionably of a superior Order" in favour of someone "of more experience in the management of Workmen in this part of the Country".

Central Union Canal project

William Cubitt

He produced a survey for this proposed canal.

Mundon or White House Farm Canal

Built.

Middlesbrough - Redcar Ship Canal Project

W A Brooks

Proposed a new harbour at Redcar connected to Middlesbrough by a ship canal.

Haddiscoe (or New) Cut - Norfolk & Suffolk Broads

William Cubitt

He completed his work directing the building of the cut.

Sheffield Canal

Joseph Burke

Laid out a 7.75 mile route to extend the canal from the top of the Sheffield Locks to the Chesterfield Canal at a point below Killamarsh forge. He estimated the cost as 46,204 pounds and the revenue as 4,999 pounds.

Swansea Canal

John Brunton

Acted as engineer for the Brecon Forest Tramroad that was a feeder for the canal.

Tennant Canal

William Kirkhouse

He reported that Charles Tennant was considering doing away with the little used lock to the River Neath at Red Jacket and "if there was any traffic likely to come that way to have a capstan with a carriage to take a barge on it from the river to the branch canal".

River Tone

The Bridgwater & Taunton Canal Co. Bought the river.

Swansea Canal

Robert Brunton

Acted as engineer for the Brecon Forest Tramroad that was a feeder for the canal.

Sheffield Canal

George, junior Leather

He reports on the line of the proposed Sheffield & Chesterfield Junction Canal laid out by Joseph Burke. He makes some improvements of his own and re-estimates the cost as 75,870.

Ellesmere Canal

George Watson Buck

Was appointed as clerk and engineer of the Western Branch of the canal with instructions to investigate the accounts. He previously worked on the Eastern Branch.

1833

Burry and Loughor Rivers

Traffic probably ceased soon after the opening of the railway and floating dock in 1833.

Bridgewater Canal

Samuel Wylde

He recommended a new design of flat that had one-third more capacity, based on the same general type, with a nearly vertical stern, boom that did not project beyond the rudder and a mast that could be struck. As a trial one was ordered made in wood and one of iron. These proved successful and four more were ordered in 1834.

Fossdyke Canal

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Surveyed the navigation and made a report.

Glastonbury Canal

Opened.

Kidwelly & Llanelly Canal

James Green

He recommended that the canal should be extended to Pembrey New Harbour, a new tramroad connection should br made and that the Gwendrath valley line should be extended for over 5 miles, with three inclined planes.

Leicester Navigation

Edward Staveley

Called on his solicitor to announce that he owed the company 1,400. He then disappeared leaving his records inaccessible. The records were recovered but Staveley and the money were not seen again.

Haddiscoe (or New) Cut - Norfolk & Suffolk Broads

Was opened in 1833 as the Norwich and Lowestoft Navigation.

River Ouse (Yorkshire)

Thomas Telford

He advised that Thomas Rhodes should be used to look at the problems of the river.

Sankey Brook Navigation

The branch from Sankey Bridges to Widnes opened.

River Weaver

Joseph Locke

As engineer for the navigation he was part of the delegation that met with the Grand Junction Railway company to discuss the building of Dutton viaduct across the river.

Leicester Navigation

Thomas Hill

He and John Rastrick were consulted on the horse railway the company proposed to build along a similar route to the Forest line.

Leicester Navigation

John Urpeth Rastrick

He and Thomas Hill were consulted on the horse railway the company proposed to build along a similar route to the Forest line.

London & Birmingham Junction Canal project

James Green

He surveyed the line of the canal.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

William Bull

Appointed engineer and soon after recommended 60,000 pounds worth of improvements to the navigation.

Mardyke Canal

Edward Lapidge

He was appointed engineer after havig already made a partial survey.

Mardyke Canal

Edward Lapidge

He produced his plans for the navigation.

Ellesmere Canal

George Watson Buck

He left the company to become an assitant to Robert Stephenson, having had an interest in railways from the early days of steam.

1834

Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal

William Cubitt

Was called in to help Telford with the Shelmore Embankment which was causing problems and delaying the completion of the canal. It was not completed until March 1835.

Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal

Thomas Telford

He was having problems with the construction of the Shelmore embankment and called in William Cubitt to assist.

Basingstoke Canal

Francis John William Thomas Giles

He was the engineer for the London & Sothampton Railway whose new line was to pass under the canal, which would cross on a new aqueduct.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

H R Palmer

He was asked to report following an Act that allowed improvements to the navigation up as far as Mirfield. He suggested large-scale works at the cost of 83,403. The committee and shareholders agreed on a smaller navigation 7 feet deep and 50 foot wide.

Chard Canal

William Cubitt

He recommended Sydney Hall as engineer for the canal.

Chard Canal

Sydney Hall

He was appointed engineer.

Chard Canal

Issac Whitewood

He was assistant engineer.

Chard Canal

Authorised by an Act.

Croydon Canal

Joseph Gibbs

Surveyed the line of the London & Croydon Railway which proposed making use of the bed of the canal.

Ellesmere & Chester Canal

Thomas Telford

He recommended that the company make large improvements to facilities for traders at Ellesmre Port.

Glamorganshire Canal

William Cubitt

Drew up plans for the Bute Docks in Cardiff on behalf of Lord Bute.

River Great Ouse

Sir John Rennie

Denver Sluice was reconstructed to his design.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal

John Raistrick

He suggests creating an artifical current by pumping to propel boats through Standedge Tunnel.

Preston Ship Canal Schemes

Thomas Fletcher

Surveyed and reported that a 9 mile canal taking vessels of up to 200 tons with a draught of 14 feet 6 inches could be built for 101,078.

Grand Western Canal

James Green

He reported that to prevent alterations of the levels of the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal affecting the working of the boat lifts (which depended on constant levels) locks would be needed at Lowdwells and Taunton.

Aire & Calder Main Line

James Abernethy

Was assistant engineer to George Leather, junior, in the building of Goole Dock and ship lock.

Aire & Calder Main Line

George, junior Leather

Was building of Goole Dock and ship lock, assisted by James Abernethy

River Ouse (Yorkshire)

Thomas Rhodes

He was called in on Thomas Telford's advice and wrote that the lack of steam traffic on the river was due to the size and shallowness of Naburn Lock and of the river below. He estimated it would cost 33,354 to make York accessible to 200-250 ton vessels. Over half the cost was for a new 140 foot by 36 foot lock with a 7 foot depth over the cill, estimated at 18,261.

Leominster Canal

John Urpeth Rastrick

He was asked to survey the route from the Rea Aqueduct at Newnham to connect the canal to the River Severn. He reported in early August.

River Nene

Sir John Rennie

He and Thomas Telford certify the completion of the new outfall cut, which cost 200,716.

River Nene

Thomas Telford

He and Sir John Rennie certify the completion of the new outfall cut, which cost 200,716.

Aire & Calder Navigation - Wakefield Section

George, junior Leather

The board told him to prepare plans for the Stanley Ferry Aqueduct.

Mardyke Canal

Edward Lapidge

He wrote to Comyns Parker, a land agent amd supporter of the scheme, to say that the support for the project had disappeared.

Kennet and Avon Canal

John Blackwell

Was directed to visit every part of the navigation to identify cost savings and improvements to trade.

1835

Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal

Completed.

Bude Canal

James Meadows Rendel

He enlarged the sea-lock and basin.

Bridgwater and Taunton Canal

Henry H Price

He was requested by the Bridgwater corporation to report on the practicability of building a ship canal from Combwich to Bridgewater, building a dock thereand extending the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal from the existing junction with the River Tone at Huntworth to the proposed new dock.

River Don

Charles Bartholomew

As engineer for the river he was asked to prepare plans for inproving the navigation.

River Don

George, junior Leather

He was consulted about two schemes to improve the lower river. He agreed that a scheme using two miles of the Stainforth & Keadby Canal could work but rejected the idea of locks on the Dutch River.

Grand Junction Canal

William, senior Thompson

He retired fom his post of Northern District Engineer.

Grand Union Regents Canal

James Morgan

He left the company.

Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal

Jesse Hartley

Was appointed engineer.

Shrewsbury Canal

Newport Branch open.

River Welland

James Walker

He was asked to report on improving the river and recommended enclosing the channel below Fosdyke Bridge in a straight line towards a meeting with the Witham outfall at or near Clayhole and embanking both sides of the channel. The estimate for this was 13,000 together with his other proposals for dredging, deepening and embankments the total estimate was 70,000.

Glamorganshire Canal

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Made a survey with a view to improvements of the sea lock and the Cardiff end of the canal.

Leominster Canal

John Urpeth Rastrick

He produced a report (while working as engineer of the Staffordshie & Worcestershire Canal) on a cheaper version of the Leominster Canal to the Severn tramroad. The cheapest option was 44,394. The idea was not taken further.

Grand Western Canal

James Green

The committee criticise him in their annual report because of problems with the boat lifts, saying he had "with too much confidence on theoretical principles, never subjected it to a full and fair trial". Five lifts were working on the open part of the canal to Wellington.

Grand Surrey Dock, Canal & Junction Railway project

Henry H Price

He suggested this scheme to the directors of the Grand Surrey Canal company and was favourably received.

Kidwelly & Llanelly Canal

James Green

The extension to the old main line that he proposed in 1833 was now complete.

Carlisle Canal

Jesse Hartley

He produced plans for inner and outer docks at Port Carlisle.

Dartford & Crayford Navigation

Edward Hall

He proposed a ship canal from the entrance to Dartford Creek to the town of Dartford. This was to take vessels of 300 - 400 tons.

1836

A Home Tour Through the Manufacturing Districts

By Sir G Head. Many journeys by canal and river are described, including the Bridgewater, Carlise and Annan, Halifax, Knottingley, Lancaster, Leeds & Liverpool and Trent & Mersey.Published.

Aire & Calder Main Line

George, junior Leather

He is asked to report on making a short cut to join the Goole canal to the River Don.

Birmingham & Warwick Junction Canal

Frederick Wood

He surveyed a line for the canal from the Birmingham Canal and Worcester & Birmingham Canal to the Warwick & Birmingham Canal and then to Aston Locks.

Gower Branch Canal (BCN)

Brades Hall Locks built with two-rise staircase.

Croydon Canal

Closed.

Cyfarthfa Canal

Abandoned about 1836 No traces remain.

River Don

William Walker

It was proposed that, if Sir John Rennie was not available, he should check Charles Bartholomew's routes and estimates for the proposed canal from the River Don to Swinefleet.

Forth & Cart Canal

Authorised by an Act.

Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal

William Clegram

He advises against the use of a steam tug for towage on the grounds of damage.

Manchester & Salford Junction Canal

John, junior Gilbert

He was appointed engineer.

Monmouthshire Canal

William Cubitt

He was asked by the company to report on the canal and the tramroad from Pontymoile to Pontnewyndd and recommended improved water supplies for the canal.

River Nene

Sir John Rennie

He proposed the removal of the stone bridge at Wisbech and the adjoining houses so that the sectional area of the river could be doubled. He also recommended impovements to permit vessels with a 7 foot draught to reach Peterborough and a back cut in Wisbech to avoid the S bend through the town. He ageed that no permanent solution to flooding on the river could be found until the obstructions at Wisbech were removed.

Neath Canal

William Kirkhouse

He wrote to Charles Tennant "I understand they are now talking in earnest about extending the Neath Canal to Aberavon". He had made a plan and survey for a similar extension to Port Talbot many years before.

River Parrett

Promoted by Act.

River Stour (Suffolk)

William Cubitt

The river proprietors sought his advice on competition from the railways.

Gower Branch Canal (BCN)

Completed.

Calder and Hebble Navigation

George Stephenson

He and others representing the promoters of the Manchester & Leeds Railway Bill approached the company with offers of good bridge clearances for navigation, and free access for the navigation to "Fields of Coal or other Minerals" but failed to persuade the company not to oppose the Bill.

Grand Western Canal

William Alexander Provis

He was asked to report on the lifts and Wellisford inclined plane on the as yet un-openned canal. The lifts were satisfactory but the plane was not. He thought that the water filled buckets used to counter balance the cradle and boat should be 25 tons rather than 10.

Kidwelly & Llanelly Canal

Alfred Thomas

He produced a plan for a tramroad from the canal at Kidwelly to the entrance of the River Towy at Ferryside. This would enable coal to be loaded into tramroad waggons at the collieries and transported to the canal where the waggons would be put onto boats.

Aire and Calder Navigation and River Aire

George, junior Leather

He writes of "the decided hostility of the Aire & Calder Company, as resolved upon at their meeting on Saturday 16th inst." concerning the proposed Manchester & Leeds Railway.

Grand Western Canal

James Green

He is replaced as engineer after problems with one of the lifts and a complete failure of the Wellisford inclined plane.

Kidwelly & Llanelly Canal

James Green

He left his post of engineer having failed to complete the inclined planes for the estimated cost.

Kidwelly & Llanelly Canal

James Green

He ceased being engineer for the Burry Port company after a failure of the walls caused the harbour to be closed.

Stourbridge Extension Canal

James Green

The company decided he should make a survey of the line but he seems not to have done the survey.

Stourbridge, Wolverhampton & Birmingham Junc'n Canal

William Fowler

Made a survey and proposed the line for a new canal.

Carlisle Canal

Jesse Hartley

He proposed to start work at Port Carlisle by enclosing the ground and building the outer dock with a single gate.

River Parrett

William Gravatt

Was appointed engineer.

River Parrett

Charles Hodgkinson

Was appointed resident engineer under William Gravatt.

1837

Basingstoke Canal

Joseph Locke

He was appointed engineer to the London & Southampton Railway which ran alongside and across the canal.

Titford Canal (BCN)

Completed.

Bridgwater and Taunton Canal

Extension fom Huntworth and Bridgwater Dock construction promoted under an Act.

River Derwent

Thomas Rhodes

He surveyed the river and recommended improvements that were carried out.

Glastonbury Canal

Sir John Rennie

He was still owed 367 from his bill of 567 even though he had often asked for payment.

Manchester & Dee Ship Canal project

Sir John Rennie

He surveyed a route for a canal 16 feet deep from Liverpool to Warrington that could without difficulty be carried on to Manchester.

Stourbridge Extension Canal

Authorised by an Act of June 1837.

Stourbridge, Wolverhampton & Birmingham Junc'n Canal

John Urpeth Rastrick

He made an estimate for a reduced line from Brockmoor to just beyond Shut End which he costed at 32,404 including a Sandhills branch. This was to be built as the Stourbridge Extension Canal.

Stourbridge Extension Canal

William Fowler

He was appointed engineer.

Stourbridge Extension Canal

John Urpeth Rastrick

He was asked to be engineer but he did not take up the post.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

John Leather

While working as part of George Leather & Son he reported in favour of proposals for a new lock at Leeds to connect the canal to the River Aire above the weir.

Kidwelly & Llanelly Canal

James Green

His Gwendraeth valley line had been built at a cost of 55,918. It incuded 3 inclined planes with 57, 56 and 84 feet rises plus two locks.

1838

BCN Main Line

The section east of Deepfields was built by Telford between 1825 and 1838, reducing the total mileage from 22.5 to just over 15.

Hulme Lock Branch (Bridgewater Canal)

Completed.

Grand Western Canal

Taunton extension opened.

Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal

Ralph Walker

He made a survey and supported the original Parliamentary line and tunnels rather than the proposed alterations.

Stourbridge Extension Canal

William Richardson

About this time he was appointed engineer.

Kennet and Avon Canal

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Suggests a junction between the Great Western Railway and canal at Reading.

London & Birmingham Junction Canal project

William Cubitt

A meeting was held in his office to discuss the project. No later discussions of this canal are known.

Bude Canal

James Walker

He reports to the Exchequer Bill Loan Commissioners on the canal and says of the inclined planes "Every means appears to be taken to avoid accident; the machinery though complex - and perhaps necessarily so - is ingenious. It has, I understand, given trouble but not lately, and it does not appear with care which is indispensable, likely to do so to any extent, although with such heavy machinery accidents are unavoidable occasionally".

Grand Western Canal

James Easton

The canal was reopenned using his steam engine powered inclined plane at Wellisford.

Stourbridge Extension Canal

William Fowler

He left his post as engineer.

Stourbridge Extension Canal

Benjamin Townshend

He was appointed engineer.

River Severn

Edward Leader senior Williams

As engineer responsible for river improvements between Stourport and Gloucester he presented a revised plan to the Commission.

River Welland

James Walker

He surveyed the progress made in deepening and extending the channel below Fosdyke Bridge. This was being done by using fascine training walls as he recommended and was the only part of his 1835 recommendations currently being pursued. He found that vessels with 8 feet draught could get through up to the bridge whereas those with a 3 foot draught had some difficulties three years before.

1839

Cann Quarry Canal

Closed.

Kensington Canal

Sold to the West London railway in 1839.

Manchester & Salford Junction Canal

Opened.

Pensnett Canal

Built from 1839 to 1840.

Shropshire Canal

Henry Williams

He retired.

River Thames

Brunel's Maidenhead railway bridge on the Great Western main line with the largest ever brick arches of built across the river.

Aire and Calder Navigation and River Aire

George, junior Leather

His plan for a Leeds & Armley Navigation, to take craft drawing up to 7 feet above Leeds Bridge, was put to the board.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

James Fletcher

He reported together with Walmsley Stanley, his fellow joint engineer, and Robert Nicholson, the law clerk, on proposals from the Leeds & Armley Navigation Company to build a new River Aire lock.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Walmsley Stanley

He reported together with James Fletcher, his fellow joint engineer, and Robert Nicholson, the law clerk, on proposals from the Leeds & Armley Navigation Company to build a new River Aire lock.

Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal

Robert Frost

His plan for the Hatherton Branch was accepted with his estimated cost of 12,345.

1840

Aire & Calder Main Line

George, junior Leather

He designed a new dock at Leeds.

Birmingham & Warwick Junction Canal

James Potter

He was appointed engineer for the building of the 2 mile 5 furlong canal with 6 locks.

Birmingham & Warwick Junction Canal

Authorised by an Act.

River Blyth

James Walker

He supervised a survey of Southwold Harbour, carried out by John R Wright. It was found that the scouring effect of the tide had been reduced by no less than 148,296,490 cubic feet of water on each tide due to the reclaimation of 1,504 acres of marsh land.

River Blyth

John R Wright

He did a survey of Southwold Harbour, supervised by James Walker. It was found that the scouring effect of the tide had been reduced by no less than 148,296,490 cubic feet of water on each tide due to the reclaimation of 1,504 acres of marsh land.

Dartford & Crayford Navigation

Promoted by an Act.

Forth & Cart Canal

Completed.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal

James Fletcher

He suggests that Foulridge Tunnel should be opened out to ease congestion and estimates the cost at 23,000.

Monmouthshire Canal

E S Barber

Made a report to the canal committee on the use of iron rails to replace the tram plates in use on their various tramroads.

River Nene

Benjamin, junior Bevan

Represented the Nene Commissioners at a meeting to consider John Rennie's report on improvements to the lower river.

Pensnett Canal

Built from 1839 to 1840.

River Parrett

Opened for navigation.

Stourbridge Extension Canal

Opened on 27 June 1840.

River Severn

William Cubitt

Appointed engineer to the Severn Improvement Association with E Leader Williams as sub-engineer.

River Severn

James Walker

He said that in this year there was traffic above Gloucester of 3,328 laden canal boats and 84 empties, 405 partly-laden barges, 296 laden trows and 253 partly-laden craft. Craft from Shorpshire remained aground at Ironbridge during droughts; when the river rose they came down to Gloucester in fleets of 20 or 30, taking 11 to 16 hours on the journey and unloading as quickly as possible so they could return before the water level fell.

Tremadoc Canal

Replaced by a tramroad.

River Don

Charles Bartholomew

Reported to the Don committee on the fast passenger boats used on the Lancaster and Scottish canals,

River Don

Charles Bartholomew

Appointed manager of the Don Navigation, in addition to his post of engineer.

River Don

John Copeland

Resigned as engineer after 68 years service with the company, 45 of them as engineer.

Mersey & Irwell Navigation

H R Palmer

He produces a Report on the Improvement of the Rivers Mersey and Irwell ... for the Navigation of Sea-going Vessels. He proposes an enlarged line to end at Regent Bridge, Manchester, many new cuts with a new canal from below Woolston Lock past Bank Quay, across Cuerdley Marsh to join the river at Runcorn. The whole route was to have six locks big enough to take four flats and a 400-ton steamer.

River Severn

Edward Leader senior Williams

He was appointed sub-engineer to the newly formed Severn Improvement Association.

River Severn

William Cubitt

Reported the the actual river traffic as 380,000 tons.

Pidcock's Canal

Open until the mid-1840s.

Pembrey Canal

Probably closed in the 1840s.

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Chronology Index

 

Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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