A History Of The Sleaford Navigation

Hunt, William Michael (1979). A History Of The Sleaford Navigation. MPhil thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000fc87


No detailed study of any part of the canal and navigation system of Lincolnshire has so far been undertaken and, using primary sources almost exclusively, this work is the first complete account of the origins and the development of one of these rural navigations and the effects it had upon the local communities.

The early history of south Lincolnshire's drainage is considered and its close relationship with the River Slea/Kyme Eau. The importance of these waterways to the towns of Boston and Lincoln is also discussed.

With the quickening of industrial and agricultural change in England during the second half of the 18th. century the waterway systems of the country were extended and attempts were made to make navigable the River Slea/Kyme Eau in order to become a part of this network. Those attempts are here considered in detail, as is the opposition given to the various schemes by both individuals and corporate bodies. A number of surveys, reports, estimates and applications to Parliament for an Act were made and these and the Parliamentary proceedings are examined.

In support of a navigation the vital role played by Sir Jospeh Banks, the President of the Royal Society, both in Parliament and in relation to Drainage and Navigation Commissioners and supportes of the scheme, is explained.

The trading patterns exemplified by the Navigation during the early deccades of the 19th. century give insight into the economic climate both locally and nationally and the importance of water transport for freight to this district is fully demonstrated.

Competing forms of transport are examine, in particular the railway, which was established in direct opposition to the Sleaford Navigation.

Finally, the reasons for the decline and closure of the waterway are considered and the present-day efforts to re-open the river to vessels.

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