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Trent and Mersey Canal

Description: Runs 93 miles from Derwent Mouth, where it joins the River Trent, to Preston Brook, where it joins a branch of the Bridgewater Canal

History: Originally known as the Grand Trunk Canal. Promoted by Acts of 1766, 1770, 1775, 1776, 1783, 1797 (two Acts), 1802, 1809 and 1827

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

January 1758

James Brindley did a survey for Earl Gower for a canal from Wilden Ferry on the River Trent to Stoke-on-Trent.

January 1758

James Brindley

At the request of Earl Gower, Lord Anson and Thomas Broade he surveyed the line of a canal from Wilden Ferry to Stoke-on-Trent.

January 1761

John Smeaton

He reviewed James Brindley's 1758 plan for a canal from Stoke-on-Trent to Wilden Ferry and suggested that the canal could be extended "to join the navigable river that falls into the west sea" at a cost of 77,939.

Early March 1765

James Brindley

He meets with Josiah Wedgwood and they discusses a navigation to Stoke-on-Trent based on Brindley's 1758 plan.

Early March 1765

Josiah Wedgwood

He meets with James Brindley and they discusses a navigation to Stoke-on-Trent based on Brindley's 1758 plan.

January 1766

Promoted by an Act.

January 1766

Duke of Bridgewater Francis Egerton

Shareholder in the canal

January 1766

John Brindley

Shareholder in the canal

Early January 1766

Matthew Boulton

Subscribed to the canal

Mid January 1766

James Brindley

Shareholder in the canal

Mid January 1766

Samuel Garbett

On the committee of the canal company.

Mid January 1766

Sir Richard Whitworth

On the committee of the canal company.

Mid January 1766

James Falconer

On the committee of the canal company.

Mid January 1766

Edward Sneyd

On the committee of the canal company.

18th February 1766

Thomas Gilbert

On this date the Bill was presented and after the second reading was referred to a committee which he chaired. He was also a shareholder in the canal.

May 1766

James Brindley

He has ten 200 shares in the new company.

3rd May 1766

James Brindley

Appointed Surveyor-General at 200 p.a.

3rd May 1766

Hugh Henshall

Appointed Clerk of Works at 150 p.a. to included the cost of a clerk.

3rd May 1766

Josiah Wedgwood

Appointed Treasurer

3rd May 1766

John Sparrow

Appointed Clerk at 100 p.a.

Spring January 1767

James Brindley

In a letter of the 2nd March Josiah Wedgwood expresses concern that Brindley is endangering his life and health through over work. On the 2nd of April he says "Poor Mr Brindley was not well enough to attend the Committee".

January 1770

Promoted by an Act.

January 1770

River Trent Aqueduct opened 24 June

January 1771

James Brindley

Proposed a canal from Swarkestone to Chesterfield, which would have by-passed both the Trent and the Derwent. It was opposed on the grounds that river navigations were much cheaper.

Autumn January 1772

Hugh Henshall

He suceeded to the post of engineer on Brindley's death.

January 1775

Chellshill Aqueduct (over the present B5078 road) and Snapes Aqueduct opened in April.

January 1775

Promoted by an Act.

January 1776

Promoted by an Act.

January 1777

Croxton Aqueduct (River Dane Crossing) opened May.

May 1777

Hugh Henshall

Completes the canal started by Brindley.

January 1783

Promoted by an Act.

January 1797

Leek and Uttoxeter branches promoted by two Acts.

January 1802

Promoted by an Act.

January 1809

Promoted by an Act.

January 1820

John Rennie

He surveyed the Harecastle Tunnel and recommended it should be closed for a year for repair and that traffic should be diverted to a tramroad over the top, a by-pass along the Bath Pool valley, or a new tunnel.

February 1825

Thomas Telford

Work began on his new 2,926 yard Harecastle Tunnel.

February 1825

James Potter

As engineer in charge he began construction of Telford's new Harecastle Tunnel.

January 1827

Hall Green and Wardle branches promoted by an Act.

16th March 1827

Thomas Telford

His new Harecastle Tunnel was completed at a cost of 112,681.

January 1857

George Parker Bidder

As engineer of the North Staffordshire Railway, who were then the owners of the canal, he considered the widening of the canal and running barges on fixed services.

January 1875

Anderton Lift opened. Connecting the Trent & Mersey Canal with the River Weaver this boat lift raised boats 50 feet from the river.

January 1957

Thurlwood Lock No 53, Rode Heath, was from 1957 to 1988 the site of Thurlwood Steel Lock, built to overcome subsidence caused by salt workings.

January 1960

IWA National Rally at Stoke-on-Trent.

January 1971

The Rise of the Staffordshire Potteries by J Thomas, Published by Adams & Dent.

January 1974

Knobsticks by Robert J Wilson, Published by Robert Wilson - Canal carrying on the Trent & Mersey.

January 1977

Shardlow - 18th Century Port by D Cullimore, published.

January 1979

The Trent and Mersey Canal by Jean Lindsay, Published by David & Charles - Inland Waterways History series.

January 1980

Historic Waterways Scenes: The Trent & Mersey Canal by P Lead, Published by Moorland Publishing Co Ltd.

January 1983

Problems with the Anderton Lift mechanism caused the lift to close.

January 1988

Thurlwood Lock No 53, Rode Heath, was from 1957 to 1988 the site of Thurlwood Steel Lock, built to overcome subsidence caused by salt workings.

January 2004

The Inland Waterways Association National Festival was held at Burton on Trent.

 

Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
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