Jump to content

How many Inland Canal Ports Were There?


Heartland

Featured Posts

A general meaning of a an inland canal port would probably include the interchange of merchandise and other goods, warehousing, cranage and use of wharves for transhipment.

 

The well known examples include Stourport (interchange between Severn craft and the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal) and Shardlow (interchange between the Trent and Mersey Canal and the River Trent) Preston Brook also  had the interchange between flats and narrow boats. But when the interchange between turnpikes and canals are considered there is also a case of port title to places such as Derby, Nottingham and Wolverhampton.

 

So how widely should the term Canal Port be applied?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll say the term canal "port" should be reserved for places where sea going vessels can, or could, unload goods for further shipment by canal.  So, for example, inland locations such as Manchester and Rotherham are ports, Birmingham is not.   I don't know about Nottingham - did sea going cargo vessels routinely unload there?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This will be like Churchill's Hippopotamus - not easy to define but you know one when you see one. Not made any easier by reference to the sea port definition which relates more to the authority to operate than to the physical aspects. 

 

I'd say it should include either a dock or docks, not just a wharf, and perhaps transhipment between boats. 

 

Starter for ten then would be Stourport, Diglis (on the canal, not the oil terminal) and Brimscombe

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two places on the Thames come immediately to mind, but both are known as "docks" rather than ports. Regent Canal Dock was certainly an interchange between the Regents Canal and Thames and accessible to small short-sea ships, but Brentford at the entry to the Grand Junction/Union Canal was really limited to Thames lighters. Both have all the facilities for craneage/storeage etc you mention.

 

Tam

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Leeds? :D

 

On Leeds Becoming a Seaport Town (waterwaysongs.info)

 

On Leeds Becoming a Seaport Town

Oh dear! Oh dear! his a curious age is,

Alteration all the rage is,

Young and old in the stream are moving,

All in the general cry improving,

From the Exhibition I've brought news down sirs,

They're going to make it a seaport town sirs,Instead of factories and cheap tailors 

Nothing you'll see but ships and sailors.

 

Chorus: This 'twill be I'll bet you a crown sirs,When Leeds it is a sea-port town sirs

Edited by Ray T
Link to comment
Share on other sites

and Brimscombe port near Stroud which I have recently read is going to be turned into a housing estate rather than the centerpiece of the canal restoration 😞

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Port of London had it's own Authority, so maybe that could be one definition of a Port.

 

The 'Port' of Berkhamsted is I believe something that came from the mind of a local entrepreneur when she spent some time 'in Office' on the local council.

  • Greenie 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be hard to define on the L&LC, where goods were once advertised as being delivered between Hull and Skipton 'in one bottom', ie by one boat. Coastal flats also operated between Manchester and Wigan carrying coal for Liverpool Docks prior to Stanley Locks opening. The same would have happened on other northern waterways, where the distinction between coastal and canal craft was vague. The provision of warehousing is also problematic, as I can think of at least forty canal warehouses on the L&LC alone, a few served regularly by coastal craft into the 20th century.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 22/09/2021 at 17:03, Neil2 said:

I'll say the term canal "port" should be reserved for places where sea going vessels can, or could, unload goods for further shipment by canal. 

 

Should it not also include places where sea going vessels could unload goods for the local market or shipped on by other means and not shipped on by canal? I would have thought the amount of goods handled by the Port of Manchester which involved onward canal travel was minimal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, David Mack said:

 

Should it not also include places where sea going vessels could unload goods for the local market or shipped on by other means and not shipped on by canal? I would have thought the amount of goods handled by the Port of Manchester which involved onward canal travel was minimal.

But what is 'The Port of Manchester'? It developed from the terminus of the Mersey & Irwell Navigation, opened circa 1734, and which was used by coastal trading craft. At that time all the goods handled would have been carried by waterway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, David Mack said:

 

Should it not also include places where sea going vessels could unload goods for the local market or shipped on by other means and not shipped on by canal? I would have thought the amount of goods handled by the Port of Manchester which involved onward canal travel was minimal.

I think the point I was trying to make was to distinguish a port from a wharf - many wharfs involved some element of transhipment even if it was only locals turning up with a horse and cart or a sack trolley as they were public wharfs. The distinction is probably one of scale. 

Some of the places that described themselves as ports, e.g. Brimscombe, were specifically intended for the transfer of cargoes between vessels

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, Pluto said:

But what is 'The Port of Manchester'? It developed from the terminus of the Mersey & Irwell Navigation, opened circa 1734, and which was used by coastal trading craft. At that time all the goods handled would have been carried by waterway.

No doubt the M&I terminus handled some goods carried onward by canal once the other canals in Manchester were built, but to my mind the term "Port of Manchester" refers specifically to the docks and wharves at the Manchester end of the Manchester Ship Canal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.