The Early Days

As a young man Francis Egerton, 6th Earl and 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, took a grand tour of Europe, and was evidently impressed with the canals in use on the continent which, after turning his back on London, spurred him on to develop this means of transport to serve his collieries in Lancashire.

Initially his Agent, John Gilbert, was involved in the preliminary levelling and surveying of the site. When the Duke was just 23 years old, he presented his first Bill, which was hugely supported by the traders of Manchester and Salford on the Dukeโ€™s promise to reduce the delivered price of coal in Manchester to no more that 4d per cwt.