The Arbury Private Canals, Arbury Park
The Arbury private canals at Arbury Park, which were constructed during the Post Medieval period.
1 Sir Roger Newdigate built the Arbury Canals, about 5.5 miles in all, between 1764 and 1795, although he incorporated a number of boatways which had existed before 1711. The system consisted of (1) the Coventry Communication Canal, which ran from the Coventry Canal to the worsted factory for 1078 yards, and was completed in 1773; (2) Arbury Lower Level, finished in 1794 – with 6 locks to the E, 1 lock to the W, which ran for 1540 yards; (3) Coventry Wood Canal, used in 1771, locks at either end and completed in 1772, which ran for 528 yards; (4) Arbury High Level, a garden lock built in 1773 though the canal is much earlier. 3 locks to Hall Pool. Probably completed in 1775 it ran for 2505 yards; (5) Coton Lawn Canal, opened in 1795 which ran for 2112 yards; (6) Seeswood Canal, originally a feeder from Seeswood Lake, made navigable in 1777, lock built in 1784, ran for 1980 yards.
The function of the canals was mainly to carry coal, but they were also used as a means of communication, for goods and pleasure craft around the estate. The system had 13 locks which lifted it 93’6″ from the Coventry Canal to Seeswood Pool; each was 40′ X 6′. The single lock at the top of the Arbury High level was known as the triple because it was Y-shaped, having 2 sets of top gates (SP 332 896). Most of the engineering was undertaken by William Bean, and John Morris, the estate mason and bricklayer.