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Ulverston Town Council Office, County Square, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 7LZ

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Ulverston Canal

A great British waterway

In 1795 architect John Rennie (designer of London’s Waterloo Bridge) constructed the Ulverston Canal and secured a further period of prosperity for the town. The canal connected the town with the Irish Sea and provided it with a port. This investment paid off and a thriving maritime community developed. Ulverston became the starting point for steamers to Liverpool, passenger ships to Scotland and London and for cargoes exporting copper slates and linen around the world.

With the increase in trade came an increase in the size of the town and between 1801 and 1841 the population of Ulverston doubled. In 1846, the railway came and this, coupled with the introduction of modern ships, which were too big to negotiate the inland waterway, rendered the canal defunct. It was used commercially up until World War I but was officially abandoned at the end of World War II.