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Stella to Hexham Canal



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Administrative /‚Äč Biographical history

A Stella to Hexham canal was first proposed in 1795 by Ralph Dodd, intended to carry coal from the collieries concentrated on the south side of the Tyne. He envisaged this as the eastern section of a sea to sea canal from the Tyne to the Solway Firth. At the same time, William Chapman also produced plans for a sea to sea canal, starting north of the Tyne. Although money was raised and a bill introduced for Chapman's scheme, opposition led to it being dropped. Meanwhile, Dodd's Stella-Hexham line was being promoted by a committee seeking a canal south of the Tyne. However, when the original plan was referred to engineer John Sutcliffe, he rejected Dodd's line and suggested his own. In 1797, after looking over these new plans, Robert Whitworth agreed they were practicable, needing only minor revisions. But by this time, the financial climate was difficult and costs were rising rapidly; the scheme was put aside. Variations on these proposals did emerge from time to time over the next decade but never came to anything until plans for the Carlisle Canal. For more details, see 'The Canals of Yorkshire and North-East England' Volume 2 by Charles Hadfield.