Southampton & Salisbury Canal
Maps of the canal
This page gives access to a number of maps showing the course of the canal. Each map will appear in a separate pop-up window (or a new tab) so that you may view them while accessing other parts of the site.
Milne’s Map of Hampshire 1791
Thomas Milne surveyed a One Inch map of Hampshire during the years 1788-1790 and this was published by William Faden in 1791. This map included two insets covering Winchester and Southampton at a larger scale. This is the Southampton inset (213KB).
This map shows a line for the canal although in 1791 the choice of route was still under discussion. It shows the position of a lock immediately inland of God’s House Tower and the line of the canal running north along the Town Ditches. However, once it reaches Houndwell, it turns westward and enters a tunnel some 250 yards long under Above Bar about 100 yards north of the Bargate. Upon nearing the then shore of the River Test, the canal is shown running northward and parallel with the shoreline until, approaching Four Posts Hill, it turns inland to run up the small valley between Hill Lane and The Polygon. At this point the line is labelled “Canal from Redbridge”.
However, this was not the route that was adopted to the north of the town walls when construction started in 1795. Nor is there any indication of any branch to Northam - a destination which was one of the main motivations for tunnelling under the hill on which Southampton stands. One wonders whether the route shown on this map was one that was proposed around 1790 but was dropped later on, or whether Milne misunderstood an explanation of the route, or even that it was a figment of Milne’s imagination.
Southampton & Salisbury Canal Company
In 1794 Joseph Hill produced this plan of the proposed canal (213KB) and it was printed for subscribers to shares in the canal.
The whole of the canal is shown on this site in the two series of 7 maps as listed below:
- The ‘modern’ series utilises Ordnance Survey 1:50 000 mapping dating from 2005.
- The Old Series One-Inch mapping consists of extracts of the One Inch mapping originally surveyed in 1806-07 and published in 1810-11 - the only OS mapping we have contemporary with the canal in use. This mapping has been enlarged so that it displays at 1:50 000 to match the ‘more modern’ mapping. These maps are based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
|Part of canal covered||Modern 1:50 000 Map||Old Series
|Southampton to Millbrook and Northam||Map 1
|Millbrook to Redbridge||Map 2
|Kimbridge Junction to Lockerley||Map 3
|Lockerley to West Dean||Map 4
|West Dean to East Grimstead||Map 5
|East Grimstead to Alderbury||Map 6
|Alderbury to Salisbury||Map 7
Ordnance Survey field drawings
The surveys for each of the ‘Old Series’ One Inch maps were collated by the surveyors onto preliminary drawings on paper at a scale of two inches to the mile using pen and ink. It was from these that the copper printing plates were engraved by hand at One Inch scale.
These drawings were working documents, now over 200 years old, and in places are a bit the worse for wear. The British Library holds these documents and the links below provide access to images of the drawings covering the Southampton & Salisbury and Andover Canals.
Copies of these maps are available on Wikimedia Commons as normal image files albeit quite large. These files are licensed under the National Archives: Open Government Licence version 1.0 (OGL v1.0).
|Extent of canal||Link to drawing||File size|
|Southampton Arm and Andover Canal from Redbridge to Stockbridge||https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/Ordnance_Survey_Drawings_-_Bishop%27s_Waltham_%28OSD_82-1%29.jpg||5.12 MB|
|Salisbury Arm (also duplicates the Andover Canal south of Stockbridge)||https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cf/Ordnance_Survey_Drawings_-_Salisbury_%28OSD_76%29.jpg||4.74 MB|
|Andover Canal north of Stockbridge||https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/80/Ordnance_Survey_Drawings_-_Andover_%28OSD_77%29.jpg||4.41 MB|
Ordnance Survey large scale mapping
Historical Ordnance Survey large scale mapping at the scales of 6 inches and 25 inches to one mile has covered the area of the canal since 1865-75. Although this mapping dates from after the abandonment of the canal and the coming of the railways, much of the course of the canal can be traced on these maps. Local archive offices usually hold copies of these maps. There are also a number of places where it is possible to view these maps online. More information can be found on the Further Resources page.
One source that has not been available to previous explorers of the canal is LIDAR data which is publicly available on the internet (for free) from the Environment Agency. LIDAR uses a laser to scan and map the landscape from an aircraft and is widely considered to be the best method for collecting very dense and accurate elevation data across the landscape. More about this data can be found on the Further resources page.