Waterways of Stoke-on-Trent - Burslem Branch Canal


Waterways of Stoke-on-Trent - Burslem Branch Canal

BURSLEM "The making of a turnpike-road from Burslem, in connexion with the Liverpool and Manchester turnpike road at Lawton, under an Act passed in 1763, facilitated the carriage of raw materials and manufactured goods, and gave rise to improvements in the buildings; but the completion of the Grand Trunk Canal, in 1777, gave a stronger impetus to manufacturing enterprise, and to the building of larger manufactories, and a better description of dwelling-houses. A branch canal, from the main line, brought nearly up to the town, in 1805, gave further facilities to traffic; and, from the period when the main line of the Canal was completed, to the present, great local improvements have progressively gone forward."

John Ward "The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent" 1843

The canal that's awash with pottery history
Burslem Branch Canal was once one of the cornerstones on which the growth of The Potteries was built.
Parts of the half mile stretch are now filled in, other sections clogged with rubbish and many of its buildings are unused and run down.
photos of the canal breach

When the canal was authorised by an Act of Parliament in 1797, it paved the way for Burslem to become the Mother Town of The Potteries. Construction work was completed in 1805, 30 years after James Brindley completed the adjoining Trent and Mersey Canal.
Large quantities of china clay, stone and other raw materials were shipped in for use at the Burslem potbanks and finished ware was exported via the River Mersey and Liverpool Docks.
The canal was even immortalised by Arnold Bennett when Denry Machinís horse and cart crashed into it in his novel The Card. The canal was abandoned after it burst its banks in the 1960s.

Plans for Burslem Port

Plans are underway to restore the Burslem Branch canal - this ambitious project will bring boats, tourism, leisure, craft workshops and residential property to this area. on Burslem Port

photos, maps, census details relating to Burslem canal

Aerial photo and map of the branch canal area
Map of Navigation road showing tramway
April 1998 newspaper article on Burslem canal
Photos of the drainage ditch alongside the canal
Photos of the remains of pool by the canal junction
Photos of the Trent & Mersey canal
Photos of the Co-op "Model Bakery"
Photos of the Wharf buildings
Photos of Navigation Road and the horse drawn trams
1832 Hargreaves map of the canal
1851 OS map of the area
1878 OS map showing massive development
1912 OS map showing the Co-op bakery
1878 OS map - detail of Newport House
Details of Newport House and Newport Pottery
1851 census of Newport House and Lane
1871 census of the Wharfs and Porters House
1871 census of the boats at Burslem Wharf
Plan and details of the proposed Burslem Port
Proposed route of the restored canal
The 'Bakery buildings'
Black & white aerial photo of the area
Photos of the canal breach
The Anderton Wharf
The Mersey Weaver Wharf
The junction of the Burslem and Trent & Mersey canals




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