Southampton and Salisbury Canal


A reasonably full history of the canal is given on this website. Many of the canal company’s papers have been preserved and may be found in the Southampton Archives in the Civic Centre.

Extensive use has been made of a booklet published by the City of Southampton in 1966 (reprinted in 1977) under the title “The Bankrupt Canal” and written by Edwin Welch. Unfortunately, this publication is now out of print but copies may often be found for sale secondhand on the internet.

Further information can be found in a paper entitled “The Salisbury Canal - A Georgian Misadventure” by Hugh Braun in the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine Vol 58, No 210 of December 1962. A copy of this is available on the internet at

Researchers owe much to Charles Hadfield who was responsible for a pioneering series of books covering waterways history in the British Isles. His “The Canals of South and South East England” was published in 1969 by David and Charles (ISBN 0-7153-4693-8) and contains information on the Southampton and Salisbury Canal. The book is out of print but secondhand copies may be found for sale on the internet.

This intriguing history may be read on this site using the contents page to the left.

Send your comments to the Web Site manager (Peter Oates)

© Southampton Canal Society 2005-17. Except where otherwise indicated, information on these pages may be reproduced provided permission is obtained from the Web Site manager beforehand and due acknowledgement made to the Society.

Page created 17 November 2005. Updated 17 February 2009. Layout and content updated 7 April 2017.

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