Leeds & Liverpool Canal

THE WORKING WATERWAY CHRONOLOGY: 1770–1972

1766 Public meeting at the Sun Inn Bradford on 2 July discussed the scheme to build a navigation to connect the East and West Seas.

1770 The First Leeds & Liverpool Canal Act received the Royal Assent on 19 May.

1771 On 29 April Parliament granted permission for the building of Bradford Canal to link with the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at Windhill.

1773 The canal opened between Skipton and Bingley.

1774 Stretches were opened from Liverpool to Gathurst, and then by Douglas Navigation to Wigan, Skipton to Gargrave, and Bradford to Shipley and Bingley.

1777 The stretch from Leeds to Shipley opened but then work ceased when capital dried up.

1780 Wigan to Gathurst stretch opened.

1783 The second Leeds & Liverpool Canal Act passed.

1790 The third Leeds & Liverpool Canal Act passed.

1791 Building of the canal recommenced on the westward stretch from Gargrave.

1794 The fourth Leeds & Liverpool Canal Act passed.

1796 The Foulridge Tunnel opened on 3 May and the stretch to Burnley opened.

1816 On Tuesday 22 October the canal was fully opened.

1819 The fifth Leeds & Liverpool Canal Act passed.

1820 In December the Leigh Branch opened.

1846 The Liverpool Dock Branch was opened

1878 The Aire & Calder Navigation and the Leeds & Liverpool Canal purchased the Bradford Canal. The sale was by authorised by the Bradford Canal (Transfer) Act.

1891 The sixth Leeds & Liverpool Canal Act passed.

1892 The seventh Leeds & Liverpool Canal Act passed.

1905 The eighth Leeds & Liverpool Canal Act passed.

1922 Bradford Canal closes

1928 The ninth Leeds & Liverpool Canal Act passed.

1948 Nationalisation saw the waterway pass to the Docks and Inland Waterways Executive.

1953 British Transport Waterways takes over responsibility for the canal.

1960 Regular traffic over the summit level ceases.

1963 British Waterways Board created.

1964 The last regular traffic on the main line comes to an end.

1972 Regular trade on the canal ceases with the last delivery of coal to Wigan Power Station.

1985 The Leeds & Liverpool Canal Corridor Project was initiated.

1997 The Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society founded.

2002 The Ribble Link connects the canal to the Lancaster Canal

2009 The canal extended to reach the Albert Dock in Liverpool.

2012 Responsibility for England and Wales’ waterways was transferred from British Waterways to the Canal & River Trust.