Caldon Canal, Stoke-on-Trent

#10 of 12 in Nature in Staffordshire
The Caldon Canal, opened in 1779, runs 18 miles from Etruria, in Stoke-on-Trent where it leaves the Trent and Mersey Canal at the summit level, to Froghall, Staffordshire. The canal has 17 locks and the 69-metre long Froghall Tunnel.HistoryThe first plans by the proprietors of the Trent & Mersey Canal Company to construct a canal from the summit level to Leek were considered in January 1773. This would have been a tub-boat canal, as the boats were designed to carry just 5 tons, and rather than using locks, inclined planes were to be used at points where the level of the canal needed to change. Two more plans were considered, and the third included extra reservoirs which would supply the summit level of the existing main line. At a similar time, an independent company was planning a link to Leek, but the Trent & Mersey managed to block this. Having secured contracts with several owners of limestone quarries in the Caldon Low area, the company sought an Act of Parliament to authorise construction of the new works, which it obtained in May 1776.The Act enabled the proprietors to borrow £25,000 to fund the construction, which was completed in December 1778. Initially, there were 16 locks, eight rising from Etruria to the start of the summit at Stockton, and eight falling from the end of the summit to Froghall. 1.5mi of the canal followed the bed of the river Churnet near Consall. The company could also build railways to the quarries, and the first, which ran from Froghall across Shirley Common towards the quarries opened at the same time as the canal, but was not a success. A second Act of Parliament was obtained in 1783 to authorise a new tramway, and to extend the canal by 530yd, which included the Froghall tunnel. The tramway was 3.1mi long, and was funded out of revenue, as the Act did not authorise the raising of additional capital.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
26 reviews
  • The Caldon canal is very well maintained with good user friendly footpaths, it is good for walking and cycling.  more »
  • Great towpath and you can walk for miles. Wonderful countryside views. Good access from many places along the route.  more »
  • Caldon canal offers great scenery and history tucked away in deepest Staffordshire running parallel to the Churnet Valley railway take time to visit the lime kilns in Froghall Warf and Consall Forge  more »
  • Very good path.
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