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 Harborough

1793 Leicestershire & Northamptonshire Union Canal and 

Grand Junction Canal get their act of parliament on the same day.

1793 Construction starts Leicestershire & Northamptonshire Union Canal 

1797 Work stops at Debdale, 

1809 LNU opens

1810 Construction starts Grand Union Canal

1814 GUC opens

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

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


1894 Grand Junction Cc, purchase the LNU & GU

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

1900 Foxton Inclined Plane Opens

1911 Watford locks rebuilt narrow.

1909 Foxton Locks rebuilt for FMC steamers on  night time fly run 

1911 Foxton Lift mothballed to save money

1928 Lift dismantled for scrap.

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

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


1948 Nationalised under Docks and Inland Waterways Executive.

1949 Harborough Arm under threat from A6 road bridge lowering.

1950 IWA National Festival of Boats at Market Harborough

1963 Canals split from DIWE to become British Waterways Board


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 from BW.

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




Foxton Inclined Plane Trust

Canal Museum

Middle Lock

Gumley Road



LE16 7RA


0116 2792 657

Foxton Inclined Plane Trust (FIPT) is an independent charitable organisation. Charity 513241.


We are a registered Company 1654756.


FIPT operate The Canal Museum previously the Boilerhouse

which is an Accredited Museum 1644