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TITLE
'Emma' in Caledonian Canal
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_1999_116_418
PLACENAME
Caledonian Canal, Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
SOURCE
Highland Photographic Archive (IMAG)
ASSET ID
11380
KEYWORDS
Caledonian Canal
Thomas Telford
'Emma' in Caledonian Canal

Navigating the Pentland Firth was both time-consuming and dangerous. In 1773, a survey was made for the Trustees of the Forfeited Estates on the viability of building a canal linking the east and west coasts. The aim was to reduce voyage times and give quick and safe passage to fishing and other cargo vessels from the hazards of foreign attack and turbulent seas. It was also believed that its construction would help stem the flow of emigration from the Highlands. However, the estimated cost, £164,000, was seen as prohibitive. In 1800 Thomas Telford was hired to plan and carry out the work.

The canal was opened in 1822. Poor construction of the lock walls led to reduced efficiency from 1830 until repairs were completed in 1847. The original estimate was £474,531. The final cost was £1,400,000.

For several reasons, the Canal was rarely used to its intended capacity. The many locks and lack of depth, especially in Loch Oich, prohibited its use by larger vessels while the advent of steamships, the increase in coastal lights, and a reduced threat from foreign vessels all, to a certain extent, nullified the original reasons for the Canal's construction. An exception to this came during the two World Wars when its strategic importance was proved


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'Emma' in Caledonian Canal

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

Caledonian Canal; Thomas Telford

Highland Photographic Archive (IMAG)

Joseph Cook Collection

Navigating the Pentland Firth was both time-consuming and dangerous. In 1773, a survey was made for the Trustees of the Forfeited Estates on the viability of building a canal linking the east and west coasts. The aim was to reduce voyage times and give quick and safe passage to fishing and other cargo vessels from the hazards of foreign attack and turbulent seas. It was also believed that its construction would help stem the flow of emigration from the Highlands. However, the estimated cost, £164,000, was seen as prohibitive. In 1800 Thomas Telford was hired to plan and carry out the work.<br /> <br /> The canal was opened in 1822. Poor construction of the lock walls led to reduced efficiency from 1830 until repairs were completed in 1847. The original estimate was £474,531. The final cost was £1,400,000.<br /> <br /> For several reasons, the Canal was rarely used to its intended capacity. The many locks and lack of depth, especially in Loch Oich, prohibited its use by larger vessels while the advent of steamships, the increase in coastal lights, and a reduced threat from foreign vessels all, to a certain extent, nullified the original reasons for the Canal's construction. An exception to this came during the two World Wars when its strategic importance was proved <br /> <br /> <br /> This image can be purchased.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email the<br /> <a href="mailto: photographic.archive@highlifehighland.com">Highland Photographic Archive</a> quoting the External ID.