Telford’s Old Canals

East Shropshire Tub Boat Canals, were amongst the first to be built in Britain. The network was made up of a number of short and very narrow canals situated around the area that we now call Telford. For a long period the old canals of Telford were self contained with no connection into the main canal system although there was an indirect link at the south of the network into the River Severn.

The East Shropshire Network was made up of the following canals:

Donnington Wood Canal
This ran from Pave Lane near Newport, through Lilleshall to Donnington Wood. It had branches at Lilleshall, an inclined plane and underground mines at Donnington Wood.
Ketley Canal
This canal linked with the Shropshire Canal at Oakengates. At Ketley Bank the World’s first ever canal inclined plane was constructed.
Shrewsbury Canal
This canal was built by Thomas Telford. It ran from the Trench inclined plane to the centre of Shrewsbury. It contained numerous guillotine locks and the famous Longdon Aqueduct.
Shropshire Canal
This fascinating canal began at Donnington Wood. It had 4 inclined planes and now runs through Blists Hill open air museum.
Wombridge Canal
This connected with the Donnington Wood Canal at Donnington Wood. It ran for 2 miles into Wombridge. At Trench it connected with the Shrewsbury Canal via an inclined plane.