Wey Navigation is significant as a landmark in mass transportation.
Richard Weston saw the potential in taking larger vehicles down the River Wey
to London to transport goods in the 17th Century.
But first, the meandering
river would need to be straightened using a new system of locks.
breaking technology required thousands of gallons of water to be controlled behind
embankments reinforced with wooden hurdles.
The Wey Navigation opened in
1653, one of the first British rivers to be made navigable.
It proved to
be an immediate success - by its second year of operation, it had raised £15,000
from tolls, the equivalent of £1.5 million in today's money.
not only allowed for navigation it enabled bulky goods to be carried with ease
including wool, linen, and coal.
Tonnage of up to 16 tons could be pulled
by one horse.
Today its commercial use has declined dramatically. but it
fulfils a new role as a recreational resource for narrow boats and tourists keen
to enjoy its leisurely lifestyle.