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Salisbury & Southampton Canal

Description: Intended to be a 13 mile canal, in two parts, linking with the Andover Canal to provide a route from Redbridge, on Southampton Water, to Salisbury. Only part built.

History: Authorised by an Act of 1795. Opened 1802 or 1803, company defunct by 1808.

See Priestley's Navigable Rivers and Canals for more information.

January 1770

James Brindley

He was approached to survey the line for this canal but was too busy and offered anassistant.

Late January 1793

Joseph Hill

He surveyed the route and estimated the cost as 47,209.

January 1795

Authorised by an Act.

January 1795

Joseph Hill

An Act enabling the navigation was passed based on his revised estimate of 48,930 for building the canal. He is appointed resident engineer.

January 1798

John Rennie

He was called in to inspect the Southampton tunnel which had 200 yards cut. He wrote that 'those parts that are likely to stand are ill formed and seem to have been done with little care or Judgement'.

June 1798

John Rennie

He inspected the whole line and reported that the works 'are generally proceeding in a workmanlike manner'.

January 1799

Thomas Dadford junior

Took part in arbitration on behalf of the contractors in a dispute with the canal company.

Spring January 1799

James Hollinsworth

He measured the work actually done on the canal and compared it to money paid out. This was done on behalf John Rennie who reported to the company in May.

May 1799

John Rennie

Having employed James Hollingsworth to measure the work actually done in comparison to the charges made he reported to the company criticising both their engineer Joseph Hill and the contractors.

May 1799

Joseph Hill

He was severely criticised by John Rennie in his report on the canal works.

Summer January 1799

William Jessop

He and John Rennine arbitrated on behalf of the company in a dispute with the contractors.

Summer January 1799

John Rennie

He and William Jessop arbitrated on behalf of the company in a dispute with the contractors.

January 1800

Joseph Hill

He left the company in dispute and unpaid.

September 1800

George Jones

He restarted work on the canal, having been made engineer on John Rennie's recomendation.

3rd February 1801

John Rennie

He wrote to the company 'When is Mr Jessop and myself to look for payment of our Bill for the arbitration business of the Salisbury and Southampton Canal - besides the Arbitration there is a considerable sum due to me for the former Surveys and Reports.

January 1802

Opened this year or 1803.

July 1803

John Rennie

He estimated that 9,950 was needed to complete the canal and 2,000 to repair deterioration.

June 1804

George Jones

He issues a writ for the payment of his salary. No payment was made and sheriffs seived portions of the canal.

January 1808

Company defunct by 1808.

January 1809

John Rennie

He wrote to the company clerk asking for his bill to be paid and was told that there were two plans for the future of the canal but it was difficult to get creditors together.The clerk ends the reply 'It is now running to ruin very fast'.

 

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