The Leven Canal

From the Archives: NarrowBoat, Autumn 2020

Joseph Boughey

Joseph Boughey provides insights into this little-known East Yorkshire waterway

The Leven Canal, running off the River Hull in East Yorkshire, is one of Britain’s more obscure waterways. Using mainly British Newspaper Archive sources, this article presents some insights into its more recent past. It supplements the excellent accounts in Charles Hadfield’s The Canals of Yorkshire and the North East, and Roger Butler’s article in the April 2013 issue of Waterways World. In decline The canal was 3 miles long, running across flat country from the River Hull to the village of Leven. Privately owned by the Bethell family of the Rise Estate, it opened in 1804 but was affected by railway development in the area. In 1905 the total tonnage carried to and from Leven was 4,546, of which 2,175 was coal, 1,000 roadstone and 800 grain – plus 76 tons of carrots and mangolds! An article in the Beverley Recorder of 24th August 1901 stated that, “The canal sadly needs clearing of the growth which, in parts, almost chokes the fairway.” However,…

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