Andover Canal

Introduction

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Andover Canal Company seal

The Andover Canal was constructed in order to give improved transport between the environs of the northern Hampshire town of Andover and the outside world. When first mooted in 1770, this was quite a progressive proposal as the first artificial canals, such as the Bridgewater Canal and the Grand Trunk Canal (today called the Trent & Mersey), were only just coming into use. Although this was a false start, the canal that was eventually built did not come up to the promoters' expectations largely because the links to other waterways that they envisaged were not built.

Map of Andover Canal and its connections

The canal did not give any financial returns to its shareholders and the company was never able to completely pay off its debts. After 65 years of quiet use, the canal was rebuilt as a railway which in turn was not very successful. However, the waterway did arguably provide a useful link with Southampton and the rest of the country.

Legally the name of the canal was the "Andevor Canal" (see company seal above) which is an old spelling of the town's name. The canal was, however, usually referred to as the "Andover Canal". During it's lifetime, it was not called the "Andover & Redbridge Canal" - this form was the name of the railway company which built the railway along the canal (see Latter Days).


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Page created 17 November 2005 - updated 16 February 2009.


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