Caledonian Canal

Caledonian Canal

The Caledonian Canal in Scotland connects the Scottish east coast at Inverness with the west coast at Corpach near Fort William.

It runs some 62 miles (100 kilometres) from northeast to southwest. Only one third of the entire length is man-made, the rest being formed by Loch Dochfour, Loch Ness, Loch Oich, and Loch Lochy. These lochs are part of the Great Glen, a geological fault in the Earth's crust. There are 29 locks (including eight at Neptune's Staircase, Banavie), four aqueducts and 10 bridges in the course of the canal.

The canal was designed by engineer Thomas Telford ably supported by William Jessop and built between 1803 and 1822 at a cost of £840,000, but was never a great commercial success. As the canal was originally built too shallow and suffered from poor construction in places, most traffic still used the sea route. It was not deepened until 1847 (work designed by Telford's close associate, James Walker) by which time most ships were too large, and Inverness was soon connected to the Lowlands by railway. The canal is now mainly used by pleasure craft. It is maintained and operated by British Waterways, a governmental organisation.

The canal has several names in Scottish Gaelic including, "Amar-Uisge/Seòlaid a' Ghlinne Mhòir" (Waterway of the Great Glen) and a literal translation "Sligh'-Uisge na h-Alba".


* Cameron, A.D. (2005). "The Caledonian Canal". Edinburgh: Birlinn. ISBN 1-84158-403-7.
* Hadfield, Charles and Skempton, A.W. (1979). "William Jessop, Engineer". Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-7603-9
* Hutton, Guthrie [n.d.] . "Getting to know... The Caledonian Canal", privately published.
* Hutton, Guthrie (1998). "The Caledonian Canal: Lochs, Locks and Pleasure Steamers". Ochiltree: Stenlake Publishing. ISBN 1-84033-033-3.
* Lindsay, Jean (1968). "The Canals of Scotland". Newton Abbot: David & Charles, ISBN 0-7153-4240-1.

External links

* []
* [ Caledonial Canal Navigation Chart]

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