History of Leeds & Liverpool Canal
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal runs from the River Aire in Leeds to the River Mersey in Liverpool via Stanley Dock and the Liverpool Link. It is 127 miles (204km) long with 91 locks on the main line. Moreover, the canal was built for canal barges that are 62ft long and 14ft wide known as “Short” boats. Additionally, an agreement took place during 1820 for a connection to the Leigh Branch of the Bridgewater Canal near Wigan, which connected the port of Liverpool to Manchester and the rest of the country. Subsequently, the locks into Liverpool were lengthened to take pairs of narrow boats. But it was not until 1846, when building the Stanley Dock Branch that the canal linked directly into the docks.
North & South Docks
However, losing the link between the North and South docks in the early 20th Century was due to the construction of the Liver Building, the Three Graces and the Cunard Building. Meanwhile, the Waterways Regeneration Task Force, part of British Waterways, approached Liverpool City Council with a proposal for a new waterway. Building a new waterway across Pier Head in 2000 linked the canal to the South Docks, as a result. Lastly, planning permission was granted in 2006 and the Liverpool Link was completed in 2009 adding 1.4miles to the canal network.
Photo: Liverpool Docks on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal by Alison Smedley.