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Waterways of Leicestershire

Navigable Rivers and Canals within Leicestershire

Welford Basin on the Grand Union Welford Branch.

Ashby de la Zouch Canal

Waterway's place in Leicestershire :

From Limekiln Bridge No 15 (Watling Street), where it crosses into the county from Warwickshire, to the Head of navigation the canal is in Leicestershire.

Waterway Description:

Attractive and historical countryside which includes Bosworth Field. Runs from Snarestone to Marston Junction on the Coventry Canal

History:

Promoted by an Act of 1794 Opened from Marston to Moira in 1804.The section from Moira to north of Snarestone was abandoned in 1956 under the BTC Act.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Grand Union Leicester Section

Waterway's place in Leicestershire :

The navigation leaves Northamptonshire and enters Leicestershire just before the junction with the Welford Branch and continues in the county to its northern end where it joins the River Trent. Just north of Loughborough, near Bishop Meadow Bridge, the waterway becomes the River Soar which is the boundary with Nottinghamshire, thus this section is in both counties except for a short cut at Zouch which is wholly in Nottinghamshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs 66 miles from the Grand Union Main Line at Norton Junction to the River Trent, near Trent Lock.

History:

Acts of 1776 (River Soar Navigation) and 1791 (Leicester Canal) and opened in 1794. The old Grand Union Canal, linking the Grand Junction to the Leicester line, was Authorised by an Act was passed in May 1810 and it was opened in 1814.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Grand Union Market Harborough Branch

Waterway's place in Leicestershire :

This branch is wholly within Leicestershire.

Waterway Description:

Runs 5.5 miles from Market Harborough to the junction with the Grand Union Leicester Section at Foxton Junction.

History:

Authorised by an Act of 1793 as part of the Leicestershire & Northamptonshire Union Canal, intended to terminate at Northampton but only completed to Market Harborough in 1809.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Grand Union Welford Branch

Waterway's place in Leicestershire :

Although the village of Welford is in Northamptonshire the 1½ mile Welford Arm runs just north of the county Border and is therefore in Leicestershire.

Waterway Description:

Runs a mile and a half from Welford to the Grand Union Leicester Section.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Leicester Navigation

Waterway's place in Leicestershire :

A canal entirely within Leicestershire.

Waterway Description:

A 15.75 mile canal with 10 locks between the Loughbourgh Navigation and Leicester. Now part of the Grand Union Leicester Section.

History:

Authorised by an Act of 1791 and fully open in 1794. The 8.75 mile canal and tramroad Charnwood Forest branch was disused by 1799 and abandoned in 1848. The main line became part of the new Grand Union Canal Company in 1932.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Leicestershire & Northampton Union Canal

Waterway's place in Leicestershire :

This canal is wholly within Leicestershire.

Waterway Description:

Original title of the canal from Leicester to Market Harborough, now part of the G.U. Leicestershire Section.

History:

Authorised by an Act of 1793, in 1797 was completed to Debdale wharf about 6 miles from Market Harborough, a new Act was obtained in 1805 and the canal reached Market Harborough in 1809. Purchased in 1894 by the Grand Junction.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Loughborough Navigation

Waterway's place in Leicestershire :

A waterway part in Leicestershire but for much of its course forming the boundary with Nottinghamshire.

Waterway Description:

The original, 9.25 miles, River Soar navigation from Loughborough to the Trent, now part of the G.U. Leicestershire Section.

History:

Authorised by Acts of 1766 (river improvements) and 1776 (canal work), opened in 1780. Became part of the Grand Union Canal in 1932.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Melton Mowbray Navigation

Waterway's place in Leicestershire :

This canal was wholly within Leicestershire.

Waterway Description:

This broad canal ran 14.75 miles, 12 locks, from Turnwater Meadow near Syston on the River Soar to Melton Mowbray.

History:

Authorised by an Act of 1796, opened in 1797, abandoned in 1877.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Oakham Canal

Waterway's place in Leicestershire :

An abandoned canal in Leicestershire.

Waterway Description:

Was a 15.25 mile, 19 lock, broad canal from its junction with the Melton Mowbray Navigation in that town to Oakham.

History:

Authorised by an Act of 1793, completed in 1802, abandoned in 1846.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Old Grand Union Canal

Waterway's place in Leicestershire :

A canal from Northamptonshire to Leicestershire.

Waterway Description:

The Grand Union Canal ran 23 miles from Foxton to Norton Junction where it met the Grand Junction Canal (confusingly now called the Grand Union).

History:

Authorised in 1810 and fully opened in 1814. Bought by the Grand Junction Canal in 1894. In 1929 the Grand Junction Canal Company amalgamated with other canal companies and became the Grand Union Canal, thus making the old Grand Union Canal part of the new Grand Union Canal.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Trent

Waterway's place in Leicestershire :

From the head of navigation at Wilden Ferry to the junction with the River Soar the river forms the boundary between Derbyshire and Leicestershire. From that point to the River Erewash Junction at Barton in Fabis the river forms the boundary between Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Waterway Description:

The navigation runs 94.75 miles from Wilden Ferry to Trent Falls, where it joins the Rivers Ouse and Humber. The first 42 miles are non-tidal

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1699, 1783, 1794 and 1906.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

External Web Sites Related to Leicestershire Waterways

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Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
Features Contact me Glossary Boats Events List History Local Waterways Help Photo List