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British Industrial History

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Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

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Two independent canals but associated canals - the Monmouthshire Canal from Newport to Pontymoile Basin (including the Crumlin Arm) and the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal, from Pontymoile to Brecon.

1792 Authorised by an Act of Parliament which created the Monmouthshire Canal Navigation company and empowered them to raise £120,000 by the issuing of shares, and a further £60,000 if required.

Construction was supervised by Thomas Dadford Junior

1797 A further Act gave the Company powers to extend the navigation, which resulted in the Newport terminus being moved southwards to Potter Street

1796 The main line opened, from Newport to Pontnewynydd.

1799 The Crumlin Arm with 32 locks was opened to Crumlin

Late 1840s: a short extension opened to Newport Docks and the River Usk.

1865 The Company bought out the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal Company

The Monmouthshire Canal gradually closed, while the Brecon line was retained as a water feeder.

Both canals were abandoned in 1962

1970 the Brecknock and Abergavenny and a small section of the Monmouthshire were reopened

Brecon Canal

1792 A separate venture was proposed to link Brecon to the River Usk near Caerleon. The proprietors of the Monmouthshire Canal invited their potential competitors to alter the plans to create a junction with the Monmouthshire Canal at Pontymoile near Pontypool and share the navigation from there to Newport.

1793 An Act of Parliament was obtained allowing the newly formed Canal Company to raise money.

1794 The associated railway line was opened

1795 Thomas Dadford Junior was appointed as the engineer for the canal itself and construction began

1799 The canal was completed and opened to Talybont-on-Usk

1800 Opened to Brecon

1801 Thomas Dadford died; Thomas Cartwright was appointed engineer

1805 The section to Govilon, near Abergavenny was completed

By 1809 the Monmouthshire Canal was threatening litigation about the uncompleted connection from Gilwern. Richard Crawshay, the Merthyr Tydfil ironmaster and a major force on the Glamorganshire Canal, provided a loan of £30,000 to help the canal. This enabled the company to appoint William Crosley to complete the work, which opened in February 1812.

1865 The Monmouthshire Canal Company bought out the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal Company

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