Canals were integral to the Industrial Revolution in the UK. The industrial revolution was vital to British economy as it became essential to transport goods across the country. At this point in time there were no roads that could be used to distribute goods around the nation, instead there were simply the left-over mud roads from medieval times. While pack horses could be used for some things, they could not transport anything by the masses, nor could they transport fragile goods.
The First Canals
The canal system originated in Staffordshire, and eventually spread around the whole of the country, becoming a nationwide network. The reason Staffordshire started the network is due to the thriving pottery industry that was located there at the time. The pottery was too fragile to go on the bumpy roads, and instead was better off being floated along the canals. Unsurprisingly, the network began along the Thames, with connections to the Wey Navigation System – which is what the Basingstoke Canal is linked to. While the first canals were fairly crude, they quickly became streamlines and engineered with locks, aqueducts, and tunnels.
Nowadays, these canals are most often used for pleasure cruises. They’re a great place to sit back with a book, bring a cooler, or even get online, read the news, and enjoy some gambling with Betway casino while you’re taking in the scenery. A canal is the perfect place to enjoy some me-time and indulge in hobbies.
The aqueduct over the Bridgewater canal was a major feat of engineering that attracted many tourists and immediately energized the canal industry in the country. This was completed in 1761, and the time afterwards was known as the Golden Age of canals. Many of these canals were lined with tow paths where horses could tow the boat and the cargo. This method meant that up to thirty tons of cargo could be pulled at a time, and as many canals were funded by private individuals, their own businesses took off massively.