DERBYSHIRE HERITAGE Derbyshire Peak District - higger-tor

James Brindley memorial
James Brindley memorial James Brindley memorial plaque

James Brindley (1716-1772), who was born at Wormhill, near Buxton, in 1716, had been engaged by the Duke of Bridgewater to engineer the Bridgewater Canal, opened in 1761.

Brindley was the pioneer of what became during the next forty years the canal boom, of which the climax was the ‘canal mania’ starting about 1793, when people sought frenziedly to buy shares in the projected canal companies.

He was followed by two other local men, William Jessop and Benjamin Outram, who played a great but not yet fully recognised part in the later developments.

Although most of Derbyshire’s eighteenth-century canals are now derelict, there is much to be seen of the work of the pioneers. Dealing with these chronologically, first came that stretch of Brindley’s great Trent & Mersey Canal (the ‘Grand Trunk’) which passes through Derbyshire.

It is still open, kept in order by the British Waterways Board and used increasingly by pleasure craft.

copyright © Derbyshire Heritage
site map