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Timeline Leicestershire line

1776 Construction starts on the Loughborough Navigation

1778 Loughborough Navigation opens

1791 Construction of Leicester Navigation starts

1794 Leicester Navigation opens


1792 First meeting to promote navigation to Market Harborough

1793 Leicestershire & Northamptonshire Union Canal and 

Grand Junction Canal get their respective  Acts of Parliament on the same day.

1793 Construction starts on the Leicestershire & Northamptonshire Union Canal 

1797 Work stops at Debdale, 

1809 Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Union (LNU) opens

1810 Construction starts Grand Union Canal (GUC)

1814 GUC opens to traffic

1881 Act of Parliament authorising Leicester Corporation to widen and straighten the river to alleviate flooding 

1890 Flood prevention works completed, 2 locks removed one inserted.


1894 Grand Junction Canal Company (GJCCo), purchase the LNU & GU

GJCCo plan to widen the canal with lifts replacing all locks as far as Leicester with Inclined Plane boat lifts.

1900 Foxton Inclined Plane Opens

1901 Watford locks rebuilt as narrow locks.

1909 Foxton Locks rebuilt for Fellows Morton and Clayton (FMC), steamers on night time fly run 

1911 Foxton Lift mothballed to save money

1928 Lift dismantled for scrap.

1928 GJCCo, amalgamate with several other canals to form the Grand Union Canal Company (New) (GUCC)

1932 GUCC take over the Leicester Navigation, Loughborough Navigation and Erewash Canal Co.


1948 All canals nationalised under Docks and Inland Waterways Executive. (DIWE)

1949 Harborough Arm under threat from A6 road bridge lowering.

1950 The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) National Festival of Boats at Market Harborough

1963 Canals split from DIWE to become British Waterways Board (BWB)


1964 Old Union Canals Society was formed

1980 Foxton Inclined Plane Trust came into existence

1989 Foxton Canal museum opened


2008 the Foxton Locks Partnership completed a £3m lottery funded project which has resulted in the lift site being removed from the ‘Monuments at risk’ register.


2012 the Canal & River Trust launches, becoming the Charity organisation taking over ownership of canals from BWB.

2015 The Foxton Canal Museum is re-launched using an Arts Council grant as The BoilerHouse.

2020 during the Covid 19 pandemic lock down, further refurbishment is carried out and the name of the museum reverts to Foxton Canal Museum.





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