About the Caldon Canal
Facts & Figures
From: Etruria junction with the Trent & Mersey canal. To: Frogall (used to be to Uttoxeter but now derelict/built over by railway) Distance 17 miles Junctions: Branch to Leek (2 Miles) Locks : 17 inc Staircase Lock Tunnels : Froghall Aquaducts: Hazelhurst
Water Supply: Three reservoirs feed this canal which was built as much for its value as a water supply route for the Trent and Mersey canal as for its trade.
Rudyard is the main source located 4 miles north of the Leek Branch terminus and drawing supplies from the surrounding hills as well as from the River Dane.
Knypersley reservoir is unusual in that it supplies the canal below the summit level.
Stanley reservoir provides a small supply on the south side of the canal near Stockton Brook.
The famous potter Josiah Wedgwood was the driving force behind the construction of the TRENT & MERSEY Canal and its branch, the CALDON. Both these waterways revolutionised the transport of fragile porcelain, at a time when the normal mode of carriage was by mule and cart over rough tracks.
Linking the POTTERIES to the MERSEY ESTUARY by water also allowed the cheaper importation of China clay from the West Country mines, thus bringing the ownership of fine china within the means of the average Victorian family.
The boom in business which resulted caused a rapid growth in the number of pottery manufacturers, many of whom sited their potteries along the Canal banks. Loading limestone from Caldon Low onto the Caldon Canal at Froghall in the late 19thC.
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