The Network's Expansion. Inland waterways in 1800 and 1830

Map of the inland waterways of England and Wales around 1800 Map of the inland waterways of England and Wales around 1830

The map on the left (1800) shows a network with most of the main routes built. The map on the right shows the canal netowrk at its fullest extent. After 1830 the building of railways reduced the canals prosperity. A few, like the Croydon Canal, were closed and the route used for railways. By 1830 there were around 4000 miles of canals. They linked all the main cities and especially the industrial areas of England. In around 70 years England had changed from a country with hardly any system for bulk inland transport, to a country with a nationwide network of canals.

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