This book is an illustrated history of one of Britain's earliest and most important inland navigations. Opened before the Civil War, the Avon Navigation preceded the canal age by over a century and stimulated the planning of a British waterways network. By a remarkable series of coincidences, this one small river was the test-bed for many ideas that have shaped our modern world, including the planning of industrial new towns, the invention of powered transport and, most recently, the restoration of derelict waterways for leisure use.
This book, which draws on extensive research on the ground and in record offices and museums, relates the history of the river and the ways in which it stimulated new ideas of social and mechanical engineering. The book is illustrated by monochrome photographs, sketches and maps, and includes a guide to historical sites and an extensive bibliography.