Waterways Around Middlewich

Canals That Never Were: NarrowBoat, Spring 2013

Richard Dean

Richard Dean on some proposed canal schemes in and around Middlewich that were never built - including a Foxton-style inclined plane

The same 1720 session of Parliament that authorised making the River Weaver navigable to Winsford also passed a separate Act giving powers to make a branching navigation along the River Dane and a short length of the River Wheelock between the salt towns of Northwich and Middlewich. This was not done, although a short length of the Dane became useable in Northwich, and part of the river bed a little below the Big Lock at Middlewich was later taken for the Trent & Mersey Canal, with the river flow diverted. A separate group was authorised to extend the Weaver to Nantwich in 1733, but this project was also stillborn, although the undertakers were sufficiently active forty years later to claim £60 compensation from the Chester Canal promoters. As late as 1945 fresh powers between Winsford and Nantwich were granted to the Weaver Trustees in anticipation of a Weaver–Wolverhampton Canal. The Trent & Mersey Canal obtained its Act in 1766 and, faced with the prospect of t…

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