Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Scope and Content

Memorandum of agreement of 20 July, 1865, between (1) the Company of Proprietors of the Canal Navigation from Leeds to Liverpool and (2) the Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of the Borough of Liverpool, whereby (1) will excavate, make and maintain three side basins and wharves connected with their canal at Philip Street Wharf, Liverpool, for the exclusive use of (2) in the removal of refuse. Term - 21 years. Rent - £1750 p.a.

Administrative / Biographical History

With a main line of 127.25 miles, the Leeds and Liverpool is the longest canal in Britain. It links the seaport of Liverpool with the Aire and Calder Navigation at Leeds, forming a through route between the Irish Sea and the North Sea. It was proposed in the 1760s as a joint enterprise between the merchants of Yorkshire and Lancashire, though there were some heated discussions as to the route the canal should take. The route finally chosen was up the Aire valley to Gargrave, then through Padiham, Whalley and Leyland to Liverpool, with a link to Wigan, and work started at each end simultaneously. By 1777, when the canal was open from Liverpool to Wigan and from Leeds to Gargrave, the company ran out of money. Construction ceased until 1790 when the economy improved and more finance was available, but the development of East Lancashire as an industrial area meant the proposed line of canal was altered. When it opened throughout, in 1816, it had been constructed along the route first suggested by the Liverpool merchants, through Wigan, Chorley, Blackburn and Burnley, joining the Yorkshiremen's line at Foulridge.

Access Information

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Enclosed in a Goldsmiths' Library volume lettered 'Liverpool Improvement Act 1865'.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

12" x 8"

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Related Material

The Goldsmith's Library holds further material relating to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal (Ref: G.L. Cat. 13963, 16405, 18042 and 16330).