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Waterways of Shropshire

Navigable Rivers and Canals within Shropshire

Boat near Tyrley Castle Bridge on the Shropshire Union Main Line.

Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

A canal that runs from the West Midlands through Shopshire and Cheshire

Waterway Description:

A 39.5 mile and 26 lock canal linking the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal at Autherley to the Ellesmere & Chester Canal at Nantwich. Now part of the Shropshire Union Main Line.

History:

Authorised by an Act of 1826, completed in 1835.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Donnington Wood Canal

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

The whole canal was within Shropshire.

Waterway Description:

A 5.5 mile tub boat canal on Lord Gower's land from Donnington Wood to the turnpike road.

History:

Probably completed about 1768 and abandoned in 1904.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Eardington Forges Canal

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

A canal entirely within Shropshire.

Waterway Description:

A half mile canal mostly consisting of a tunnel built to provide transport between the forges and the River Severn.

History:

Opened in 1782 closed when the forges ceased work in 1889.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Ellesmere & Chester Canal

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

A canal that runs through Shropshire and Cheshire.

Waterway Description:

Formed by the merging of the Ellesmere Canal Company and the Chester Canal Company.

History:

Formed in 1813 and taken over by the Shropshire Union in 1846.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Ellesmere Canal

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

The sections that were built are now in Denbighshire, Wrexham, Shropshire and Cheshire.

Waterway Description:

A canal that was never wholly completed the two major sections now being part of the Shropshire Union Canal.

History:

Authorised by an Act of 1793, the Chester to Ellesmere Port section completed in 1795, and the navigable feeder from Trevor to the Dee at Llantisilo completed what is now the Llangollen Canal in 1808.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Ketley Canal

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

This abandoned tub boat canal was entirely within Shropshire.

Waterway Description:

Was a 1.5 mile private tub-boat canal for the transport of coal from Oakengates to furnaces at Ketley, Shropshire.

History:

Completed in 1788 and, because of the sharp incline and water shortages, included a 73 foot inclined plane, the first on an English canal.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Montgomeryshire Canal

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

A canal from Powys to Shropshire.

Waterway Description:

A 23 mile 5 furlong,19 lock, narrow canal from Llanymynech to Newtown.

History:

Authorised by an Act of 1794, opened to Garthmyl in 1797, and to Newtown in March 1819. Joined the Shropshire Union in 1850.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

River Tern

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

Waterway Description:

A river navigation of over 2 miles from Upton Forge, Shropshire, to the River Severn between Shrewsbury and Wellington.

History:

Used before 1757, when the Tern Forge that it served was closed, and may have been used until 1797 when part of its entrance lock to the Severn was removed.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Shrewsbury Canal

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

An abandoned Shropshire tub boat canal.

Waterway Description:

Was a 17 mile, 11 lock, tub-boat canal from Shrewsbury to the Donnington Wood Canal, via a mile of the Wombridge Canal, which the company purchased, and an inclined plane which they built to connect to it. Later the Newport Branch was added.

History:

Authorised by an Act of 1793, opened in 1797, Newport Branch open in 1835, became part of the Shropshire Union in 1846.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Shropshire Canal

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

An abandoned Shropshire tub boat canal.

Waterway Description:

Oringinally a 7.75 mile tub boat canal with a 2.75 mile branch to Coalbrookdale. Long abandoned but some parts are still in water, notably at the Blist Hill Museum near Ironbridge. The tub boats that used the canal were 20 feet by 6 feet 4 inches.

History:

Authorised by an act of 1788 and completed in 1792. Part of it (from the bottom of Wrockwardine Wood inclined plane to the bottom of Windmill inclined plane was abandoned in 1857 and the rest in two stages in 1913 and 1944.

Points of Interest:

The canal had no locks but had three inclined planes which took the boats down a slope on rails. The Hay inclined plane can be seen at Blist Hill Museum.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Shropshire Union - Llangollen Canal

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

From just after Povey's Lock No 13, where the canal crosses into Shropshire from Cheshire, to half a mile after Prees Branch Junction, where it crosses into Wrexham, the canal is in Shropshire.

From a point between Clapping Gate Bridge No 49 and Hampton Bank Bridge No 50, where the canal crosses back into Shropshire from Wrexham, to Chirk Aqueduct, where the canal crosses back into Wrexham again, the canal is in Shropshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs 46 miles from Llantysilio Bridge, near Llangollen, to Hurleston Junction, where it joins the Shropshire Union main line

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1793 and 1796.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Shropshire Union Canal

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

The colective name for a large network of waterways mainly in Shropshire and Cheshire but also reaching many other counties. See the individual waterways for more details.

Waterway Description:

This canal includes the main Line, the Llangollen (or Welsh) Canal, the Middlewich Branch and the Montgomery Canal.

History:

See separate canals for the various historys.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Shropshire Union Main Line

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

From between Bridges 47 and 48 at Knighton, where the canal crosses into Shropshire from Staffordshire to just before Audlem Top Lock No 13 where it crosses into Cheshire, the canal is in Shropshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs 66.5 miles from Autherley Junction, where it joins the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, to Ellesmere Port where it joins the Manchester Ship Canal.

History:

Promoted by Acts of 1772, 1793 and 1826. The original canal companies were formed into The Shropshire Union in 1846.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Shropshire Union Montgomery Canal

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

From the start of the canal at Frankton Junction, where it connects with the Llangollen Canal, to a point between bridges 92 and 93 at Llanymynech, where it crosses into Powys, the canal is in Shropshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs 33 miles, from Frankton Junction, where it joins the Llangollen Canal, to Newtown. Much of this canal is un-navigable and is being restored.

History:

Authorised by an Act of March 1794.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Shropshire Union Prees Branch

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

The whole branch is within Shropshire.

Waterway Description:

Runs 3.75 miles, from Whixall Moss Roving Bridge, where it joins the Llangollen Canal, to Quina Brook. Only the first half a mile is now navigable.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

Wombridge Canal

Waterway's place in Shropshire :

An abandoned Shropshire canal.

Waterway Description:

Was a 1 mile 3 furlong level private tub-boat canal built to take coal and ironstone from Wombridge to furnaces at Donnington Wood.

History:

Probably completed in 1788 and most of the line sold to the Shrewsbury Canal Company in 1792, the rest being abandoned during the early 19th century.

For more details see the Waterway details page.

External Web Sites Related to Shropshire 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