Andover Canal


Very little is known about the day to day running of the canal as the canal company records seem to have been destroyed. Should anyone know of the whereabouts of any of these records, the Southampton Canal Society would be pleased to learn about them.

The company had its own wharves at Andover, Stockbridge and Romsey; there were also a number of private wharves. The canal carried a local trade, mainly bringing coal, building materials, such as slate, and manure up from Southampton Water and carrying agricultural produce down. There was an imbalance in trade and often the boats had to travel down empty.

The maximum tolls that could be charged were 2d (0.8p) per ton per mile on all goods. However, trade was below expectations and was never sufficient to enable the shareholders to be paid any dividends. In 1827 the company were eight years in arrears with its loan interest but by 1851 this had reduced to one year.

In 1859, the Andover and Redbridge Railway Company estimated that the canal carried 2,033 tons between Andover and Redbridge. Presumably some additional cargoes were carried to intermediate destinations. The overall figure is likely to be less than in earlier years as by 1859 both Andover and Romsey were served by rail. The main sources of traffic identified were:

Cargo Tonnage
Hides and bark 422
Artificial manure 400
Building materials, including slates 400
Coals 300
Timber 200
Corn 166
Soda 100

Robert Tasker set up his Waterloo Ironworks in the Anna Valley in about 1815, less than a mile from the canal at Upper Clatford. About 400 tons of Tasker's foundry iron came from south Wales via Redbridge and the canal each year. Some 100 tons of iron came from the Forest of Dean and, together with some 200 tons of Somerset coal, this was brought along the Kennet & Avon Canal to Burbage Wharf and then by road waggon. Timber came from Devizes or Honey Street on the Kennet & Avon. Histories of Taskers may be found at the Hampshire Cultural Trust website and at the Historic Shepherdhuts website.

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Based on page created 26 January 1999 - updated 16 February 2009 - layout and external links updated 29 November 2017.

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