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British Industrial History

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Stover Canal

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James Templer of Stover House, Teigngrace, began to construct the canal at his own expense in January 1790. He planned to reach Bovey Tracey, passing through Jewsbridge, near Heathfield en route, and to construct a branch to Chudleigh. Having invested over £1,000 in the project, he sought an Act of Parliament which would allow him to raise more capital, but although the Act was passed on 11 June 1792, he did not invoke its powers, as the canal had already reached Ventiford, Teigngrace and he did not extend it further.

It connected with the Haytor Granite Railway

The engineer was Thomas Gray

1819 Letter. '...the Port of Teignmouth is likely to derive its share of advantage from the Export of Granite, an inexhaustible quantity having been found within four miles, (on a gradual descent) of the Stover Canal, of a very superior quality to any in the kingdom...'.[1]


1943 Stover Canal Abandonment[2]

AT a special meeting of the Great Western Railway Company, which followed the annual general meeting, held at Paddington Station on Wednesday, March 10th, over which Sir Charles J. Hambro, the chairman, presided, a resolution was passed authorising an application to the Minister of War Transport for a warrant under Section 45 of the Railway and Canal Act of 1888, authorising the abandonment by the company of the Stover Canal and an order releasing the company from liability to maintain it.

The canal has an approximate length of 1.5 miles and is situated near to Newton Abbot, in Devon. It begins at a point adjacent to Teigngrace Station, on the Moretonhampstead branch of the company’s line, and terminates by an outlet into a tidal watercourse known as the Whitelake, which in turn joins the River Teign.

The canal, it is understood, was constructed late in the eighteenth century for the conveyance of stone for shipment at Teignmouth, and it was acquired by the Moretonhampstead and South Devon Railway Company when, in 1864, the company purchased adjoining land for the railway. At that date the canal was operated by lessees. The lease was renewed from time to time, but for many years past the traffic passing on the canal has diminished and in 1938 it ceased altogether, with the result that the lessees gave notice terminating the agreement on March 25th, 1942.

Alternative facilities for the conveyance of traffic are more than adequate, and there seems little possibility of the canal having a further use. The step to abandon the canal has therefore been taken, in order to avoid wasteful expense in maintaining and renewing the lock gates and other works.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Exeter Flying Post - Thursday 21 January 1819
  2. [[The Engineer 1943