Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Stratford-upon-Avon Canal

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1793 The Stratford upon Avon Canal was authorised by an initial Act of Parliament in 1793, and additional Acts in 1795 and 1799. Cutting began in November 1793 at Kings Norton on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Linked with the Grand Union Canal at Kingswood by a short link.

1816 The canal was opened at its junction with the River Avon at Stratford. The canal was 25.5 miles long with 56 locks, a tunnel, a large single span brick aqueduct and three cast iron trough aqueducts, three high embankments and a reservoir.

1838 Trade on the canal steadily increased to a peak in 1838 when the railways began to take business from the canal.

1856 Sold to the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway Company.

1958 Warwickshire County Council applied to abandon the canal but the newly formed Stratford upon Avon Canal Society fought this proposal.

1960 The National Trust acquired the southern section of the canal (Kingswood to Stratford) for restoration which took place between 1961 and 1964. The southern section was re-opened to navigation on 11th July 1964 by Her Majesty the Queen Mother.

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