Company of Proprietors of the Chard Canal Navigation
Records of the Company of Proprietors of the Chard Canal Navigation: correspondence 1833.
These records are available immediately for research
The opening of the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal in 1827 led local people to wanting a canal from there to Chard. James Green was employed to carry out a detailed survey from the Bridgwater and Taunton at Creech St Michael to Chard. James Green proposed 2 lifts, 2 inclined planes, and 2 tunnels. An Act was passed in 1834. Sydney Hall replaced James Green as engineer and substituted the proposed lifts with inclined planes. A further tunnel was proposed at Ilminster and a lock at Dowlish Ford. The 13 1/2 mile long canal was open to Chard by 1842. Water was supplied by the purpose-built Chard Reservoir. Trade began with 26 feet by 6 feet and 6 inches tub-boats. In the same year the Chard opened the Bristol and Exeter Railway reached Taunton, which signalled trouble for the Chard. The manager of the canal started a carrying company, the Bridgwater & Chard Coal Company to increase trade. However the canal was bought by the Bristol and Exeter Railway in 1867 and closed the following year. The reservoir was sold to Lord Poulett. For further information on Chard Canal see Edward Paget-Tomlinson's 'The Illustrated History of Canals & River Navigations' and Charles Hadfield's 'The Canals of South West 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.