Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,111 pages of information and 233,643 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Bude Canal

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Bude Canal, Cornwall

The Bude Canal was a canal built to serve the hilly hinterland in the Devon and Cornwall border territory in the United Kingdom, chiefly to bring lime-bearing sand for agricultural fertiliser. The Bude Canal system was one of the most unusual in Britain.

It was remarkable in using inclined planes to haul tub boats on wheels to the upper levels. There were only two conventional locks, in the short broad canal section near the sea at Bude itself. It had a total extent of 35 miles (56 km), and it rose from sea level to an altitude of 433 feet (132 m).

The waterwheel chamber for the Merrifield inclined plane has survived in good condition (without the wheel). Photo here.

The design of the canal influenced the design of the Rolle Canal.

James Green was the Engineer for the Bude Canal.

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