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This canal forms a navigable route between Loch Ness (at Fort Augustus) and Loch Linnhe (near Fort William).
Telford worked with William Jessop on the survey, and the two men oversaw the construction until Jessop died in 1814. Thomas Rhodes was put in charge of building the lock gates at Corpach where iron was being used instead of timber because of shortage of the latter; the experience gained there enabled Rhodes to develop a standard design for the rest of the canal.
The canal was built during the war with France when a safer route for the warships was a distinct advantage rather than sailing around the treacherous north west of Scotland, and employment was desparately needed in the Highlands region.
It took 18 years to cut and utilised natural lochs along the way - it has 29 locks, 4 aqueducts and 10 bridges. The flight of 8 locks called the Neptune Locks at Banavie are thought to be the largest flight in Britain.
Because it took so long to complete, it never served its intended purpose during the Napoleonic wars; however, it did provide similar benefits, long after Telford's death, during the First World War
1840's Underwent a major reconstruction.