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Pocklington Canal Company


Records of the Pocklington Canal Company: plans and sections of the intended canal 1814.



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These records are available immediately for research

Administrative /‚Äč Biographical history

In 1777 there were plans for a canal from from the River Derwent to Pocklington, but nothing came of this until 1801. Henry Eastburn was then employed to survey two possible routes from the River Derwent to Pocklington and from the River Derwent to Howden. The first route was settled on. William Chapman presented the report in 1802, reviving the Howden idea. This was in direct opposition to Earl Fitzwilliam, the owner of the Derwent Navigation. The idea was quietly dropped, to be revived by Earl Fitzwilliam himself. He ordered a survey from the River Derwent to Pocklington which was undertaken by the younger George Leather from 1813 to 1814. The canal was planned to end on the turnpike short of Pocklington. In 1815 the Act was passed and work began with George Leather as engineer. The canal opened in 1818 and was 9 1/2 miles long with 9 locks. The junction with the tidal Derwent was at East Cottingwith, where an entrance lock was constructed. The canal's main water supply came from Pocklington Beck at the head of the canal and also from the beck at the tail of Thornton lock. There were 2 branches to Melbourne and to Bielby. Traffic on the canal was small as it was so rural. It was bought by the York & North Midland Railway in 1848, which became part of the Great Eastern Railway in 1854. Traffic declined, the last keel passing in 1932, the canal having become badly silted. In 1948 ownership passed to the British Transport Commission, and in 1962 to the British Waterways Board. In 1969 the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society was formed to restore the canal for the use of pleasure craft. Cottingwith lock was reopened in 1972. For further information on the Pocklington Canal see Edward Paget-Tomlinson's 'The Illustrated History of Canals & River Navigations' and Charles Hadfield's 'The Canals of Yorkshire and North East England'.

System of arrangement

It has not been possible to ascertain any original structure of record-keeping from the small number of records held for this company. The fonds has therefore been arranged in chronological order.