bridges, aqueducts, locks and boat lifts, narrow boats and the canal
the English canals was a stupendous undertaking, transforming the
countryside and man's place in it using private capital and over a short
fifty year period.
At a time when roads were poor and disjointed, a national system capable of
moving large tonnages of bulk goods from North to South, East to West, coast
to coast, was developed through personal initiatives, enthusiasm and human
Civil engineering began here. An army of navvies (navigators) was mobilised
which moved from canal project to project, doing all the hard labour by
hand, and often terrorising the neighbourhood in the process!
Almost uniquely the results of their labours, locks, bridges, buildings, are
still in daily use, fulfilling their original purpose because of a design
integrity and honesty that has lasted hundreds of years.