- Hits: 1754
The Salisbury and Southampton Canal was intended to be a 13 mile long canal in southern England from Redbridge, now a western suburb of Southampton at the head of Southampton Water, to Salisbury connecting with the Andover Canal at a junction near Mottisfont. Another section, through Southampton, was to connect via a tunnel to the River Itchen.
The idea of a canal from Salisbury to Redbridge was announced in 1768, after the canal engineer James Brindley had made of survey of a possible route. Two years later, Robert Whitworth was working on plans for a canal from Andover to Redbridge, and the Salisbury Committee wanted Brindley to survey an amended route that would join Whitworth's Canal at Kimbridge. Brindley was too busy but sent one of his assistants, but the scheme foundered in 1772 when the Andover bill was not presented to Parliament.
The route was surveyed in 1793 and authorised by an Act of Parliament in 1795.
The canal suffered from severe cost overruns and by 1798 the money from the initial issues of shares had run out.
The canal opened in 1802 or 1803 but the company was defunct by 1808.
The scheme failed before the canal was fully built and it operated for only a few years.
Parts of the route, for example through Nursling, Dunbridge and Butts Green, now form the route of the later railway, but some sections of the canal are still traceable near Romsey and between Redbridge and Romsey.