The History and Legacy of Our Canals

How canals began – changing the landscape and life of the UK

Canals have been a part of human history for centuries, but it was during the industrial revolution that they truly flourished in the UK. By understanding what made them possible and how they shaped our world today, we can appreciate their importance even more.

They were created by engineers who used their knowledge and skills to build bridges, tunnels, and locks to facilitate trade and transportation. The legacy of these engineers can still be seen today around the network and in many museums around the country.

Canal Bridge

Duke of Bridgewater Francis Egerton
  • A Concise History

    Canals were an essential part of the Industrial Revolution, making it economic to transport raw materials in and finished products out, changing landscape & lives.

Buckby Can
  • Canal Resources

    There is a wealth of printed and digital information about UK Waterways, from books about their 200 year history to 21st century digital cruising guides.

Barges & River Craft
  • Canal Museums

    The best places to see the story of the changes that the canals wrought are in the waterways museums. They offer a huge range of information and experience.

Windsor Castle
  • Canalside Castles

    England and Wales are famous for castles, signs of our more turbulent past. Many are visible or within convenient distance from a canal or navigable river.

Jack Allen
  • A Canal Life

    What was canal life like for working boat people? Jack Allen was born on a coal barge on the Bridgewater Canal and had lots of stories to tell!

All materials and images © Canal Junction Ltd. Dalton House, 35 Chester St, Wrexham LL13 8AH. No unauthorised reproduction.

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