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Along the Moors - Wappenshall

The Canal Age Begins

Wappenshall Junction Around 1950
Wappenshall Junction Around 1950

The canal age reached Wappenshall at the end of the 1700s, when Thomas Telford drove the Shrewsbury Canal through the village on the section leading to Trench and the east Shropshire coalfield. Although the waterway was vital in providing the county town with raw materials, it remained isolated from the rest of the national network and local industrialists wishing to send goods further afield were unable to do so without incurring a laborious road trip, or by shipping goods along the River Severn to Stourport… where they were then put back on the canal again!

Fortunately, help was at hand from the promoters of the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal, who were desperate to secure trade for a new venture linking the second city to the Mersey. After an unsuccessful attempt to secure a connection with the Donnington Wood Canal, in the coalfield itself, they approached the directors of the Shrewsbury Canal Company with a proposal to construct a 10-mile link from the mainline at Gnosall, in Staffordshire, to Wappenshall via Newport.