Portal:UK waterways

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UK waterways

The United Kingdom is home to a vast network of waterways. These are navigable bodies of water in various forms such as canals, rivers and lakes.

Natural rivers and lakes were the first waterways to be used for the transportation of people and goods. These were then improved to make navigation more reliable, by the construction of artificial channels and flash locks. The introduction of the pound lock enabled more ambitious waterways to be built. The Industrial Revolution required the transport of large quantities of raw materials and finished goods, and this led to a period of 'canal mania' which saw the construction of a large network of canals in the United Kingdom.

Competition, first from railways and later from road transport, started the decline of many canal and river navigations, leading in some cases to their abandonment. The latter half of the twentieth century saw the development of recreational boating and the restoration of many disused waterways.

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Under Pontcysyllte.jpg
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley of the River Dee, between the villages of Trevor and Froncysyllte, in Wrexham in north east Wales. Completed in 1805, it is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain and was designated a World Heritage Site on 27 June 2009.

Main Article: Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

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Did you know?

  • …that those who aspired to build the Stroudwater Navigation and their opponents both commissioned the writing of poems to support their cause?
  • …that although the lock beside the Grand Sluice at Boston on the River Witham is only 41 feet (12 m) long, it is possible for longer boats to pass through it at certain states of the tide?

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