Southampton and Salisbury Canal

More information

Whilst this site gives a fairly detailed account of the canal, those seeking further information might find the following resources of interest. For sources of mapping see the Maps of the canal page.


The following books give information about the canal. Note: All these books are currently out of print but may be found second-hand via the internet, bookshops or possibly borrowed from your local library. Click on the image to see a larger version of the book cover.

Books dealing with the Southampton & Salisbury Canal
Title Author ISBN & Size Publisher Notes
The Canals of South and South East England Charles Hadfield 978-0715346938
Pages: 393
(215mm x 135mm)
David & Charles - Nov 1969 A comprehensive history of English inland waterways east of Bristol and south of and including the Thames. 9 pages on this canal. Considerably extended version of part of “The Canals of Southern England” of 1955.
The Bankrupt Canal Edwin Welsh Paperback (1966) 978-0903429016; (1977) 978-0854330379
Pages: 40
(215mm x 155mm)
City of Southampton - Jan 1966 (reprinted in 1977 with minor changes) A 40 page booklet (including 8 pages of pictures) providing the definitive history of the Southampton & Salisbury Canal. The 1966 edition has the price (6/-) on the front cover, the reprint does not.
Hampshire Waterways P A L Vine 978-0906520840
Pages: 96
(232mm x 165mm)
Middleton Press - Nov 1990 Contains mainly images (historical and modern) of most waterways in Hampshire. It includes 7 pages of maps, pictures and extracts from old documents about this canal.
Lost Canals of England and Wales Ronald Russell Hardback: 978-0715354175
Pages: 272
(215mm x 135mm)
David & Charles - Oct 1971. Contains about 4 pages on the Southampton & Salisbury Canal.
Lost Canals and Waterways of Britain Ronald Russell Hardback: 978-0715380727
Pages: 272
(215mm x 135mm) Paperback: 978-0722175620
Pages: 264
(197m x 131mm)
David & Charles - Hardback: Jan 1982.
Sphere - Paperback: April 1983.
Expanded and updated version of “Lost Canals of England and Wales” (see above). Just 1½ pages devoted to the Southampton & Salisbury Canal.

Other Documents

The following is a list of known documents available on-line giving more information about various aspects of the Southampton and Salisbury Canal.

Documents covering the canal
Author Date Title Publisher Comments
Hugh Braun Dec 1962 The Salisbury Canal - A Georgian Misadventure Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine Vol 58, No 210 (page 171) A paper about the canal with a slight emphasis on the Wiltshire length.
Jon Sims 1993 The Lost Cutting Southampton University Industrial Archaeology Group Journal No 2 An article about the cutting at West Dean. Southampton University Industrial Archaeology Group (SUIAG) is now known as Hampshire Industrial Archaeology Society (HIAS).
Jon Sims 1995 The Southampton & Salisbury Canal: Some Answers Southampton University Industrial Archaeology Group Journal No 4 A further article about the cutting at West Dean. Southampton University Industrial Archaeology Group (SUIAG) is now known as Hampshire Industrial Archaeology Society (HIAS).
Jon Sims 2004 Hampshire’s Canal Rings Hampshire Industrial Archaeology Society Journal No 12 Some of the proposals in the 1790s for waterways connecting southern Hampshire and Wiltshire with the rest of the country.
Dr Edwin Course 1976 Southampton Canal Tunnel Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club & Archaeological Society, Volume 33 1976 This describes the tunnel and gives details of inspections inside it in 1975.
Philip A Brown 2021 The Case of Charles Mortimer Wheeler v the Southampton & Dorchester Railway Company, concerning Redbridge Viaduct and Purkis’s Wharf: a Calculated Risk? Hampshire Industrial Archaeology Society Journal No. 29 (2021) The Southampton & Dorchester Railway (S&DR) was promoted in the early 1840s. This article investigates the route of the railway at Redbridge and its effects on the area. Includes maps and pictures.
Joseph Priestley 1831 Historical Account of the Navigable Rivers, Canals, and Railways of Great Britain Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, London, 1831 A few details of the canal. Copies of the original book may be found on the internet but are not cheap. There are also reprints at a lower price. The link on the left leads to a transcription of the entry for this canal.

Local Archives

Most of the canal company’s records are held in the Southampton Archives. The archives are run by Southampton City Council at the Civic Centre, Southampton. Many of the remaining records are held at either the Hampshire Record Office in Winchester or the The Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre in Chippenham. Addresses of these and other local record offices are given here.

National Resources

There are a number of more nationally focused websites, including The National Archives, that are not specifically about the Southampton and Salisbury Canal but may able to provide or point to sources of information about the waterway. A listing of many of these sites can be found here.