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Edinburgh, Union Canal. General view of canal. Digital image of ED 6952

SC 785596

Description Edinburgh, Union Canal. General view of canal. Digital image of ED 6952

Date 1900 to 1930

Collection Francis M Chrystal

Catalogue Number SC 785596

Category On-line Digital Images

Copy of ED 6952

Scope and Content Union Canal, Edinburgh, looking west towards the road bridge at Yeaman Place (closed 1965 and navigation restored 2002) This rather 'weedy' section of canal followed a straight course on its eastern approach to the iron road bridge at Yeaman Place (right). It was lined along its southern bank by a ramshackle collection of dwelling houses, workshops and sheds built right up to the water's edge. A towpath, broad enough to accommodate the two horses required to pull the larger barges that operated on the canal, ran the length of the north bank. As the canal was only 1.5m deep and the barges created little movements in the water, the waterway was prone to 'weeding up' creating a major problem for traffic. Banksmen or maintenance men were employed to remove the weed and any other natural rubbish that accumulated on the surface. However, when the amount of commercial traffic decreased in the early 20th century, the canal became very 'weedy' and inadequately dredged. The final collapse of the canal's carrying trade came during the early 1920s, and by 1933 commercial traffic on the waterway finally ceased. The Union Canal, the last of Scotland's major canals, was a commercial venture begun in 1818 and completed in 1822. It was built principally as a means of importing coal and lime into Edinburgh, and ran from Port Hopetoun in Edinburgh to join the Forth & Clyde Canal at Camelon, Stirlingshire. However, within 20 years of completion most of its passenger traffic was lost to the railways, and the Edinburgh basins closed in 1922. The rest of the canal remained navigational until 1965 when it was finally closed by an Act of Parliament. In 2002, Britain's largest canal restoration project, The Millennium Link, restored navigation, and with an extension to the Union Canal and a link with the Forth & Clyde Canal through the Falkirk Wheel, boats were once more able to travel between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Source: RCAHMS contribution to SCRAN.

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/collection/785596

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Collection Level (551 64) Francis M Chrystal

> Item Level (SC 785596) Edinburgh, Union Canal. General view of canal. Digital image of ED 6952

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Attribution: © Courtesy of HES (Francis M Chrystal Collection)

Licence Type: Educational

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