Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Top 100 Sites
The history of Navigable Rivers and Canals in the UK. This is the main page for drawing together all the sources of historical information on the website. Some pages contain both current and historical information.
History - General
Introducing Canal History A brief overview of the development of canals from Roman times.
The History of the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) - The story of the first 60 years from 1946 to 2005.
British Pathé Film Clips of Rivers and Canals newsreel film clips from the early twentieth century that can be searched by date or waterway to find the appropriate link to the Pathé website.
UK Waterways Locks and Distances How many miles of waterway are there? How has the canal and river system grown and declined over the years? I try to answer these and many more questions on these pages.
Chronology Waterway Events in year order. What was happening in 1774, or any other year?
Canal Aqueducts A list of the major aqueducts on each waterway
Canal Tunnels A list of major canal tunnels in length order.
Lock Flights A list of lock flights in size order.
Seven Wonders of the Waterways Description and pictures of these seven engineerig achievements.
Imperial Weights and Measures Definitions of imperial and other historic weights, measures and currency, which are intended to help explain some of the terms used in historic documents.
Priestley's Navigable Rivers and Canals The web version of the 703 page classic book, written in 1831, entitled Historical Account of the Navigable Rivers, Canals, and Railways, of Great Britain.
My Holidays on Inland Waterways The Web Version of this book by P Bonthron, with full text and photographs. First published in 1916.
Publishing Waterways Articles and Books A free waterways web publishing service for canal historians.
Bantam Tugs All about these push-pull tugs built in the 1950s and 60s.
Boats has details of various types of boat ancient and modern.
Index of Engineers and Surveyors Details of waterway engineers and surveyors and the rivers and canals they worked on.
Index of Other Waterway People Details of people other than engineers and surveyors who have been important to the history of the waterways.
Family History A page for those people trying to trace an ancestor with a waterways connection.
Waterways History Index A list of waterways for which there are some detailed entries, i.e. more than the brief details that are held on the main waterways pages.
For the history of individual waterways and links to Waterways History pages see also the Waterways list.
A Journey down the Grantham Canal - 1881 This article was first published in June 2001 in Issue No 9 of Waterfront, a quarterly magazine about the Grantham Canal. My thanks to the author and the Grantham Canal Partnership for allowing its publication here.
Books on Waterway History can be found in various categories:-