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London to Portsmouth Ship Canal schemes

Description: Various proposals for a ship canal which was never built.

History: From 1823 to 1828 the scheme was discussed but never got the financial backing it required.

Late January 1824

Nicholas Wilcox Cundy

Published a preliminary report proposing a canal 28 feet deep and around 150 foot wide with about four locks 300 feet long by 64 feet wide.

Autumn January 1824

Nicholas Wilcox Cundy

He criticised James Elme's plan for a tida ship canal and soon afterwards announced his own Grand Ship Canal from London to Arundel Bay.

Autumn January 1824

James Elmes

He produced a plan for a ship canal costing 4m or 5m.

January 1825

Francis John William Thomas Giles

He was asked to take the levels for the combined scheme of John Rennie, James Elmes and N W Cundy.

March 1825

Sir John Rennie

He proposes, with his brother, "a ship canal from London to Portsmouth, capable of conveying Line of Battleships and the largest Merchantmen" 86 miles long, 300 feet wide and 24 feet deep. The route was to be via Guildford, Loxwood and the Avon Valley. The cost was estimated at 7 millon. They were later asked to survey alternative lines.

March 1825

George Rennie

He proposes, with his brother, "a ship canal from London to Portsmouth, capable of conveying Line of Battleships and the largest Merchantmen" 86 miles long, 300 feet wide and 24 feet deep. The route was to be via Guildford, Loxwood and the Avon Valley. The cost was estimated at 7 millon. They were later asked to survey alternative lines.

March 1825

Nicholas Wilcox Cundy

A joint meeting is held to consider his and the other two schemes proposed. The meeting agrees that such a scheme could be achieved for less than 5 million and that it would be of great advantage.

September 1825

Nicholas Wilcox Cundy

He issues a report attacking the line and surveying methods of George and John (the younger) Rennie.

January 1827

Sir John Rennie

He and his brother were consulted by the Admiralty on a proposed canal to be called the Grand Imperial Ship Canal but they thought the scheme was not financially viable.

January 1827

George Rennie

He and his brother were consulted by the Admiralty on a proposed canal to be called the Grand Imperial Ship Canal but they thought the scheme was not financially viable.

January 1827

Nicholas Wilcox Cundy

He issues a third report on the canal - now called the Grand Imperial Ship Canal on the orders of the Duke of Clarence.

 

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