The most northerly point on the English Canal System is on the Lancaster Canal at Tewitfield near Carnforth.
The canal’s principal purpose was to transport coal north from the Lancashire Coalfields, and limestone south from Cumbria.
The nature of these cargoes gave the waterway its local nickname – the Black and White Canal.
The Glasson branch (1820) allowed cargo transfer from sea going vessels that could not navigate the increasingly shallow Lune Estuary into Lancaster.
Lancaster Canal provides spectacular views of the Silverdale Coast, Forest of Bowland and Wyre countryside.
Furthermore the canal features some of the most impressive canal architecture in the country.
The Lune Aqueduct near Lancaster, has recently benefited from a £2.4 million transformation, is one of John Rennie’s finest works.
Construction of the canal started in 1797 and was opened fully in 1819 giving a passage from Preston through to Kendal.
However, with the coming of the railways in 1840 it began the sad decline of the canal.
In 1948 the canal was nationalised.
By 1955, the canal was classified as ‘ having insufficient commercial prospects to justify its retention’.
The section from Stainton to Kendal was closed down and the top two miles were filled in.
In the 1960’s, the M6 motorway was built, cutting off the northern reaches of the canal at Tewitfield, leaving the canal to deteriorate until the Lancaster Canal Trust was formed in 1963.
The Trust’s plan is to raise awareness of their restoration programme with the intention of opening the northern reaches of the canal sometime in the future.