Canal tunnels, bridges, aqueducts, locks, lifts, narrow boats and engineers
Building 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 labour.
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.