Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Regents Canal

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of London

See Regents Canal: Bridges

1812 The Regents Canal Co was incorporated.

The works of the Regent's Canal Company consist of a navigable canal connected with the Grand Junction Canal at Paddington, and which empties into the Thames at Limehouse.[1]

1812 James Morgan was appointed chief engineer of the canal company. Work began on 14 October 1812. The first section from Paddington to Camden Town opened in 1816 and included a 251-metre (274 yd) long tunnel under Maida Hill east of an area now known as 'Little Venice', and a much shorter tunnel, just 48 metres (52 yd) long, under Lisson Grove. The Camden to Limehouse section, including the 886-metre (969 yd) long Islington Tunnel and the Regent's Canal Dock (used to transfer cargo from seafaring vessels to canal barges – today known as Limehouse Basin), opened four years later on 1 August 1820.

The Regents Canal was completed in 1820, and is often referred to as London's Own Canal. It is 8.5 miles long, and circles London with the Thames. It has been consistently busy since its completion.

1855 the Regents Canal Co took over the Hertford Union Canal owned by George Duckett, which created a link with the river Lee and areas around Tottenham and Edmonton. [2]

1860 A proposal to convert the canal into a railway was put forward by John Bell

1867 The company constructed the Improvement Walls at Limehouse Basin, connecting to the canal and building an entrance lock including erection of new wharves, warehouses, and sheds, for landing and storing goods. Mr Edwin Thomas, M.I.C.E . was the engineer-in-chief, and the resident engineer Mr John Blackbourn

The wrought iron gates, swing bridge, cranes, sluices and other machinery were designed and constructed by Sir William Armstrong.

Contrary to normal practice, the company carried out the work themselves.

1900 The name was changed to Regents Canal and Dock Co [3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1867/10/18
  2. British Waterways 1961 8 Grand Union Canal
  3. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908