The Leicester Line
- The Leicester Line
- A History of the Old Union and Grand Union Canals
- Two canals make up the Leicester Line. The Leicestershire & Northamptonshire Union, or the 'Old Union', was authorised in 1793 to run from Leicester, soon to be accessible from the Trent by way of the navigable Soar, onwards to the Nene and the Grand Junction at Northampton. Canal building reached Gumley Debdale by 1797, Market Harborough by 1809, but no further. In 1810 a new Act was passed for the Grand Union Canal, strongly supported by the Grand Junction. This linking line, to run from the Old Union at Foxton by way of Crick to the Grand Junction at Norton, was opened in 1814; it united Thames and Trent.
- The story of the Leicester Line is as full of interest as it was vicissitudes. For a time the canals did well, though they were in an uncomfortably hot commercial spot. Then they declined before the railways, until towards the end of the century the two little companies were barely solvent. And then salvation seemed to be offered: purchase by the Grand Junction, and widening to allow coal barges from North of Trent to pass through to London. The widening was not to be by lock reconstruction, but by building inclined planes at Foxton amidst great hopes. It was opened in 1900, but traffic failed to justify it, still less a second.
- The plane ceased regular working in 1910: thereafter commercial traffic slowly fell away almost to nothing. The Leicester Line lay idle until in our own time the growth of pleasure cruising has given it new life.
- Philip Stevens has known the Leicester Line since boyhood: his love for it shows through every page of his carefully researched writing. Here is the history of the Line, its ups and downs, its growth, decline and resurrection, from the days of the canal mania to those of the canal revival.
- 216 pages, 1972, Case bound, 5¾" x 8¾"
- ISBN 0715355368
- New — out of Print
- Pre-Owned, very good, minor spine fade
- Top of Page
The Canals Of The British Isles
The Canals of The North of Ireland
The Canals of North West England
The Canals of The South of Ireland
The Canals of Scotland
The Canals of South and Southe-East England
The Canals of South Wales and the Border
The Canals of South West England
The Canals of The West Midlands
The Canals of Yorkshire and North East England
Inland Waterways Histories series
Waterways to Stafford