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1810

OPENING OF THE WILTS & BERKS CANAL THROUGH SWINDON> The official opening ceremony of the canal was conducted on 14th September 1810. The canal connected the Kennet & Avon Canal at Semington near Melksham to the River Thames at Abingdon. In addition to providing a route for coal to the immense London market, the W & B served to bring cheap coal to the market towns of Melksham, Calne, Chippenham, Wootton Bassett, Swindon, Farringdon, Wantage and Abingdon and to Oxford, whilst also offering economic transport for the regional export of agricultural produce and such locally produced goods as bricks, building stone etc.

In recommending Swindon as the best place for a depot on the Great Western Railway to IK Brunel, Daniel Gooch wrote “It also has the great advantage of being on the side of a canal communicating with the whole of England”



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