The canals were created to meet the transportation needs of a newly industrialized country, and it follows that this industry continued to develop alongside the new canals. Consequently, industrial buildings such as warehouses and kilns were common features of our 19th century waterways.
Wharves and warehouses were also necessary to load, unload and store goods – either between sea craft and canal craft, between railway and canal or between canal and cart.
Sheffield Canal Basin, or Victoria Quays, was once a bustling transhipment point with warehouses packed with grain. Sadly, the age of the railways took business away from the Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation and the attractive canal basin became rather dilapidated. Thankfully Sheffield’s warehouses, wharves and arches have reclaimed some of their former glory in their conversion to shops, restaurants and residential accommodation.
The remains of the Welford Lime Kilns stand at the back of Welford Wharf on the Grand Union Canal Leicester Line. The seven kilns once constituted the largest site on the whole canal, and they remained in operation until the early 1930’s.
Some old warehouses and wharves are now used as apt locations for heritage attractions. The Standedge Visitor Centre at Marsden and The Canal Museum in the village of Stoke Breurne are two such buildings.
A fascinating array of canal warehouses can be viewed on a cruise down the Leeds & Liverpool Canal through Accrington and also along the Rochdale Canal by Ancoats.
Last date edited: 7 July 2015