We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Canal heritage

With almost 3,000 designated examples of industrial heritage and engineering feats nationwide, we're keen to encourage even greater numbers of people to visit their local waterways and discover the historic significance of our canal architecture.

Stretton Aqueduct, Shropshire Union Canal Stretton Aqueduct, Shropshire Union Canal

Our canals are home to over 2,700 listed structures, 50 scheduled ancient monuments and five UNESCO world heritage sites. Just by walking along a 20 minute stretch of towpath you’re likely to pass numerous heritage structures ranging from smaller iconic items such as milestones, to working structures such as lock gates and swing bridges.

Our canals and rivers are also lined with truly magnificent structures such as the Pontycysyllte Aqueduct and Anderton Boat Lift. If it’s size that matters to you, the canals are a great place to view historic engineering projects on a grand scale.

Read about the ancient structures you can find on or near the waterways, and learn about the importance of lime mortar, in our heritage guide.

In the video below, Nigel Crowe, head of heritage, talks about canal history, the crucial role played by our canals as Britain became an industrial nation and the importance of safe-guarding this incredible industrial heritage.

Last date edited: 5 February 2016