Wey and Arun Junction Canal Company
Records of the Wey and Arun Junction Canal Company: share certificates 1831.
These records are available immediately for research
In 1810, Lord Egremont projected the plan of linking the rivers Wey at Shalford and Arun at Newbridge, for trade between London and Portsmouth. Josias Jessop made the preliminary survey in 1811 and the Act was passed in 1813. With May Upton as resident engineer and Zachariah Keppel as local contractor, the canal was opened in 1916. The Wey and Arun Junction Canal was 18 1/2 miles long with 23 locks and two aqueducts. Initial trade was slow due to the Napoleonic Wars and hindrances to navigation such as flooding on the rivers, although post-war, trade did improve. In the 1840s, rail and road competition started the decline of the canal, together with water supply problems. In 1860 the Horsham and Guildford Direct Railway was formed to build to places along the canal and when it opened in 1865, under the London, Brighton and South Coast Company, it was no longer possible for the canal to run at a profit. In 1868 an Act for abandonment was passed and in 1871 the Wey and Arun Junction Canal was officially closed, although William Stanton's barges traded to Bramley Wharf until June 1872. The Wey and Arun Junction Canal Company was not officially dissolved until 1910. For further information on the Wey and Arun Junction Canal see Edward Paget-Tomlinson's 'The Illustrated History of Canals & River Navigations' and Charles Hadfield's 'The Canals of South and South East England'.
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.