Activity on the Canal

Castlefield Wharf and the Basin became a hive of activity from the time the first loads of coal were hoisted to street level by waterwheel at a rate of 5 tons an hour. In addition, warehouses, a brick kiln and lime kiln were also built and boating was extended when the Rochdale Canal was opened from Castlefield.

At the Runcorn end of the Canal, the Duke spent considerable time on the flight of locks and the beginnings of the docks there, hence the building of Bridgewater House near the bottom of the old line of locks. There is also evidence that the Duke became involved as a schooner owner in the coasting trade.

At a fairly early stage of the extension of the Canal to Runcorn, the Duke acquired land in Liverpool for a dock to serve the needs of his companies which was developed into the extensive Dukes Dock complex at Liverpool in the second half of the 18th Century.