2. Introduction

The earliest days of canals in Britain

Panoramic wide angle view of ground floor

Begin to soak up the atmosphere of the canal age in a building built to be served by the Regent's Canal. We introduce you to the context in which London's canals were built, telling the background story on how canals came to provide a great network of water highways in the late 18th Century and early 19th Century. Our reconstructed narrowboat Coronis (with original hull) passes majestically beneath a typical canal arch and the walls are decorated with a variety of colourful artefacts. The ice cream tricycle in the centre hints at the museum's second theme of the ice trade, of which more later.