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View of tunnel entrance, from SSE Digital image of E/5862/cn

SC 796846

Description View of tunnel entrance, from SSE Digital image of E/5862/cn

Date 31/7/2001

Collection RCAHMS

Catalogue Number SC 796846

Category On-line Digital Images

Copy of E 5862 CN

Scope and Content Canal Tunnel, Union Canal, Falkirk, from south-south-east This shows the southern entrance of the canal tunnel which was designed by Hugh Baird and built between 1818 and 1822. The portal comprises part of what was probably intended as a stone framed panel above the arched tunnel entrance. The towpath (right) for the canal travels the length of the tunnel and the long green-painted pole appears to be a gate. This tunnel was dug because William Forbes, owner of Callendar House, did not want to see the canal from his property. This meant that a 631m-long tunnel had to be cut through the solid rock of Prospect Hill. 'Navvies' (labourers) dug into the rock at opposite ends and created three shafts from the top of the hill. These shafts enabled the workers to dig outwards from inside the hill. The government authorised the construction of the Union Canal in 1817 and appointed Hugh Baird (1770-1827) as the chief engineer. The main purpose of the canal was to provide an economical route for the transportation of coal and lime between Edinburgh and Glasgow via the Forth & Clyde Canal (1768-90). The 51km-long canal was opened in 1822 at a cost of £461,760, almost double the estimate, and it ran from Lock 16 at Camelon, Falkirk to Fountainbridge, Edinburgh. Except where the two canals are joined at Falkirk, the canal was built with no locks because it followed the contours of the hills. The Union Canal was closed in 1965, two years after the Forth & Clyde Canal, and the construction of new roads meant that it was impossible for boats to travel along the full length of these watercourses. However, the £84.5m Millennium Link project enabled both canals to reopen in 2002. Source: RCAHMS contribution to SCRAN.

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/collection/796846

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