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Settle and Ingleton

Canals that never were: NarrowBoat, Spring 2019

Richard Dean describes canal proposals in the Craven area of Yorkshire

The earliest idea for a ‘Grand Canal’ between Liverpool and Leeds in the 1760s envisaged a fairly direct route connecting to nearby towns by branches (see NB Autumn 2009). One of these branches, laid out by the engineer John Longbothom in 1769, was from near Marton to the outskirts of the market town of Settle. Although no plan has survived, the route is described as having an aqueduct over the River Ribble at Newsholme, and with no locks other than one down into the main canal. This is curious as the alignment would have been at, or near, the 425ft contour, which is considerably below the Marton pool of the canal as later built. The Leeds & Liverpool proprietors eventually decided to leave construction of branches to others, and their Act of 1770 authorised only the main line. In 1773 building of the Yorkshire end of the canal was well under way, and the Settle scheme was revived as an independent project, with John Smith as engineer. It was decided to keep the canal…

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