- Hits: 1281
The Sapperton Tunnel is a tunnel on the Thames & Severn Canal near Cirencester in Gloucestershire.
It was the longest canal tunnel, and the longest tunnel of any kind, in England from 1789 to 1811.
The tunnel was opened on 20 April 1789 after five years of construction and is 3,817 yards (3,490 m) long. It has no towpath; narrowboats were propelled through the tunnel by legging.
It was superseded as the longest canal tunnel in England in 1811 by the Huddersfield Narrow Canal's Standedge Tunnel, which is 5,456 yards (4,989 m) long and remains the highest, longest and deepest canal tunnel in Britain - though, unlike Sapperton, Standedge can only accommodate 7-foot-wide narrowboats (2.1 m).
Sapperton Tunnel is not currently navigable, but restoration is proposed by the Cotswold Canals Trust as part of their project to re-open the canal route of the Thames & Severn Canal. The trust operates tourist boat trips into the tunnel in winter months.