1777 : Three canal navigation proposals are made; including Hereford to Stourport via Leominster, all are viewed by Robert Whitworth whose report of December appeared to favour the Woofferton to Tenbury to Newnham route.


1778 : A meeting is held in London which directed Whitworth to carry out a survey. Whitworth reports on an incomplete survey which mentions Little Hereford and Stockton with a proposed tunnel of 1,528 yards.


1789 : Public meetings and an announcement of an application for a Parliamentary Bill. In December Dadford Jnr reported on his proposed route from Leominster to Stourport with a plan for a 31 mile canal with 3 tunnels at Pensax, Southnet and Putnall Field.


1790 : An alternative plan is proposed for a canal from Leominster to join the intended Hereford-Gloucester Canal near the Lugg Bridge, Hereford. A public meeting decided to proceed with the Stourport project and £18,000 was initially subscribed. A public meeting at Kington requested a survey on a possible canal route from Leominster uniting the two schemes to give a total canal length of 46 miles.


1791 : Dadford's proposals and estimates approved at a combined meeting and an act was passed in May amid reports of 'spirited subscription' and construction begins.


1792 : Thomas Dadford is appointed engineer of the Monmouthshire Canal in July - "on condition that he didn't give more than one quarter of his time to the Leominster Canal".


1793 : A boat named 'Royal George' is launched in May at Tenbury Wharf. There is an abortive proposal by John Dadford to build a linking canal from Garthmyl on the Montgomery Canal - 40.25 miles- to Leominster via Montgomery, Chirbury, Bishops Castle, Hopesay, Onibury, Ludlow and Middleton to a junction using the Gosford (Teme) Aqueduct.


1794 : The Leominster Canal is opened from just above Marlbrook to Woofferton with 7 boat loads of Sir Walter Blount's coal. Difficulties are reported with the Putnall Tunnel.


1795 : February a 'Great Flood' destroys the Lugg and Wyson Aqueducts: The canal is extended from Woofferton to the north end of Putnall Tunnel and a portion cut from Leominster to the south end of the Putnall Tunnel. A special meeting is held concerning the Putnall Tunnel which remains incomplete in December. The partial collapse of the unfinished Southnet Tunnel and continuing difficulties with Putnall led to consultation with John Rennie. His report in December is highly critical of design, workmanship and supervision.


1796 : 2nd Parliamentary Act passed in April, authorising a further £180,000 capital: July saw the completion of the Putnall Tunnel: December brought the completion of the entire section between Leominster and Marlbrook Wharves: The arrival of 14 of Sir W. Blount's coal halved the wharf-price at Leominster on the first day.


1797 : In June the ceremonial cutting of the first sod at the proposed site of the Severn Junction basin at the Stourport end.


1798 : Money troubles evident - several meetings later in the year.

1799 : Meetings continue - the intention appears to be to seek further Acts.


1800 : Petition of claimants and creditors for a bill authorising payment of their debts urged by the canal company. Disaffected shareholder organise a parliamentary petition against tramways and other proposed statutory measures - to no avail.


1801 : Intention repeated, plus suggestion of parliamentary powers to permit raising of tonnage dues when the Stourport basin is operational.

1803 : The funds are exhausted with little or no signs of any work east beyond Dumbleton Farm.  John Hodgkinson is consulted and his pamphlet is published - he favoured tramways from Southnet to Stourport and Leominster to Kingsland Field. August - Act of authorisation obtained but subscriptions not forthcoming, there being little Leominster support.


1805 : Proposals to open 'new' coal and iron workings in the Pensax area with possible tramways to feed the canal.


1810 : A proposal for a tramway from the Clee Hill collieries to the canal.


1811 : Decision is made to continue the line of the canal as far as Kingsland.


1812 : 2nd Hodgkinson Consultation, Survey and Report: Leominster canal Company advertised the intention of a canal or tramway via Martley to join Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Worcester.


1820 : The Kington tramway which joined the Brecon to Hay tramway at Eardisley is opened, thus resulting in Kington no longer needing the canal.


1824 : Discussions on reorganisation and extension towards Stourport.


1826 : Act passed authorising further capital, but not no funds are forcoming.


1833 : Proposal revived for railroad between Stourport and Rea Aqueduct and surveyed by engineer, Edward Powell.


1834 : Survey and various routes suggested by John U. Raistrick - engineer to Staffs & Worcs canal Co. - for rail link to River Severn. He also suggested the total conversion of the whole route into a railroad.


1837 : Survey by Stephen Ballard (Engineer to the Gloucester Canal) of possible connection with Gloucester involving canalisation of, or navigational improvement to the River Lugg.


1838 : Leominster Canal Company offered to help in making the Hereford link, but the Gloucester Company finances did not permit such further commitment.


1841 : Tenders invited for the construction of a new aqueduct over the 'River Letwych', near Burford.


1845 : Meeting to consider the sale of the canal to the West Midland Railway. First overtures from proprietors of Shrewsbury & Herefordshire Railway.


1846 : Two rival companies formed for proposed railway route linking Hereford and Shrewsbury: negotiations opened with Shrewsbury and Herefordshire Railway Company re. sale of the canal for £12,000.


1847 : The Leominster Act was passed authorising the sale of the canal to the now renamed Shrewsbury & Hereford (dropping the shire) Railway Company.


1852 : After much delay and pressure by the canal company the railway finally accepted the sale fee. The Railway Company seemed to be in favour of extending a branch line towards Tenbury.

1855 : Pressure from the canal company for the completion of the sale. The Board of the Railway Company resolved that the sale be left in the hands of the person who had been dealing with the matter - Mr J. J. Peele, Solicitor.


1856 : In January, Peele reported that a 'Bill in Chancery' had been filed against them for a specific performance of the alleged agreement to purchase - which was answered in March: The canal co's. bill sought payment of £12,000 - with interest from 1847! The Bill was dismissed in a mere technicality - that two Directors of the Railway hadn't signed the agreement - but the canal co. threatened to appeal, and the Shrewsbury & Hereford Railway was shamed into the completion of the original deal, (A £12,000 sale figure, without interest, was later agreed).

1857 : The Shrewsbury & Hereford Railway had little use for the main alignment between Leominster and Woofferton, which was to be disposed of, but Mr Peele approached Sir Edward Blount re, the possible increase in coal production at Mamble - without satisfaction. This dissuaded them from further thoughts of further development of the Teme Valley section.

1858 : Completion of the sale of the canal on the 25th March. Public notices advertised first the acquisition, and then the intention to discontinue the canal as from 19th of June, 1858. An early sale of the part between Leominster and Woofferton was decided in June. The canal company received an extra unplanned £116 10s for interest on late payment.


1859 : Arrangements to let off the canal water and pay off residential staff by June. Some land was sold to Lord Rodney of Berrington Park in July.

1860 : The Tenbury Railway Company made a bid and got a portion of the canal between Woofferton and Burford for which it paid £548.

1861 : The last written record of a sale of canal land to a Mrs Carless, verbal accounts of other disposal continue, such as the fishponds at Marlbrook.

1862 : The now Tenbury & Bewdley Railway Company made a bid and got a portion of the canal between Burford and Newnham Bridge for which it paid £450.

1865 : In September the final known legal transaction was completed. The cash residuum of the canal company of £8 10s 3p was retained by the company’s solicitor as an indication of final closure.

Timeline of the Leominster Canal

[Special thanks to LCP Ltd and Gerry Calderbank, for help in producing this timeline]