The Portsmouth and Arundel Canal was an extraordinary speculation and an ignominious failure. Planned to complete the inland navigation between London and Portsmouth Harbour, the waterway was part barge canal, part ship canal and part open water when it opened in 1823. The navigation company suffered from poor management and lack of financial control. Contractors' accounts were left unpaid, resulting in their refusal to carry out repairs. From the Thames to Portsmouth was 115 miles and involved the passage of 52 locks. Only when there was sufficient water available could the voyage be made in less than five days. London merchants, frustrated by the need to pay tolls to six different Navigations, continued to prefer the coastal route. Nevertheless, between 1824 and 1838 barges carried many tons of bullion from Portsmouth to the Bank of England. The Chichester Ship Canal alone proved successful, and although it closed in the early 20th century, there are plans to re-open that section to Chichester Harbour for pleasure craft. This new book will receive a warm welcome from canal and waterway students everywhere and from local historians in Sussex and Hampshire.
Publisher: The History Press Ltd ISBN: 9781860772832 Number of pages: 208 Weight: 490 g Dimensions: 245 x 171 x 20 mm Edition: UK ed.
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