Tavistock Canal, Tavistock, Dartmoor National Park

Tavistock Canal, Tavistock, Dartmoor National Park

Visit Tavistock Canal and you'll find plenty of local information boards to read. One at the southern end of the canal at Tavistock Canal Southern Tunnel Portal reads:

'The Tavistock Canal, one of the few canals in Devon and Cornwall, was constructed between 1803 and 1817. This was a time when the easiest and cheapest form of bulk transport available was by water. John Taylor, a talented mining engineer, designed and supervised initial construction. John Gill and John Rundle, local bankers, merchants and industrialists were major shareholders and the Canal Company's financial managers. They also leased quays at Tavistock and Morwellham and in 1841 leased the Canal itself. The South Devon & Tavistock Railway opened in 1859 and, inevitably, the Canal was to be the loser. The carriage of ore fell as copper mining declined during the late-1860s and in 1873, with trade at a standstill, the Canal was sold to the Duke of Bedford and effectively closed.'