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Believed to be the oldest man-made navigation in the country that is still navigable, the Fossdyke stretches 11 miles from the River Trent at Torksey Lock and arrives at Brayford Pool.
More information on the Fossdyke Canal can be found on the Waterscape website.
Following the Fossdyke and the Witham through the ages
Some historians and archaeologists believe that the Fossdyke Canal was built by the Romans around 120AD to link the River Trent with their city at Lincoln. The earliest definite documentary reference to the Fossdyke Canal is from 1121.
13th century – 16th century
Waterways were responsibility of various landowners and the Church; maintenance inefficient and by 17th century almost impassable (though Lincoln still England’s 4th largest port in 13th century)
18th – 19th century
Fossdyke is leased to various parties – on understanding that trading profits would be used to maintain the waterway
Act of Parliament leads to straightening and dredging of Witham and Fossdyke
Grand Sluice and lock built at Boston to protect Witham from tide and flood damage
Major schemes to alleviate problems caused by mud in the tidal section of the Witham between the coast and Boston. Witham was also straightened and deepened between Lincoln and Boston.
Witham and Fossdyke leased to Great Northern Railway Company
End 19th century
Both navigations running at a loss
Regular barge traffic along Witham ceased
Brayford Pool cleared, 25 wrecked boats removed
Brayford Trust established
Commercial carrying along Fossdyke Canal ceased
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