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Selby Canal

The Selby Canal runs from the River Aire Navigation at Dole Bank Junction to the Yorkshire Ouse at Selby.

Things to do nearby

Facts & Stats

11.75 miles


The length of the Selby Canal that is navigable.

4 locks


Decade built

The canal was constructed quickly but with a depth of only 3ft 6in.

From the River Aire Navigation to the Yorkshire Ouse

The Selby Canal was built in the 1770s when the Aire and Calder Canal Company became aware of rumours that a canal was to be constructed between Leeds and Selby, which would have taken traffic from the Aire & Calder. The canal was cut from Haddesley to Selby as the lower reaches of the River Aire were difficult to navigate and this was the cheapest option. 

The canal was constructed quickly but with a depth of only 3ft 6in. As cargoes increased, the depth was too shallow for larger barges and, by 1826, the canal was losing traffic to the new, nearby section from Knottingley to Goole.


Waterway notes

Maximum boat sizes

  • Length: 76′ 9″ (23.4 metres) – Selby Lock
  • Beam: 17′ 5″ (5.45 metres)
  • Height: 10′ 5″ (3.17 metres) – Burton Hall Bridge
  • Draught: 6′ 7″ (1.32 metres) – cill of Selby Lock

Navigation authority

Useful Info

  • A Sanitary Station key is required to operate Selby Swing Bridge.
  • The Yorkshire Ouse at Selby is tidal, and passage of the lock is only possible at certain times – passage should be booked with the lockkeeper (Tel: 01757 703182).